(Quebec) Quebec will be able to add an arrow to the quiver of its jurisdiction in the Canadian confederation: the Supreme Court has just recognized the provinces’ right to prohibit citizens from growing cannabis plants at home, as the Quebec state.
Quebecer Janick Murray-Hall had seized the highest court in the country. According to him, Quebec’s decision to ban the cultivation of a few cannabis plants at home, as permitted by Ottawa and the vast majority of Canadian provinces, was unconstitutional.
“The so-called more ‘permissive’ federal approach, and the so-called more ‘restrictive’ Quebec approach, can legally co-exist within the Canadian federation”, ruled Chief Justice Richard Wagner, in a unanimous decision handed down on Friday. Morning.
Remember that in 2018, Ottawa passed the Cannabis Act, which decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis. It also allows the cultivation of up to four plants at home, for recreational use.
The government of Quebec, like that of Manitoba, has decided to outright ban the cultivation of plants at home. Quebecers therefore do not have the right to grow pot at home.
Mr. Murray-Hall argued in court that Quebec, by getting involved in home cannabis cultivation, violated federal jurisdiction, namely criminal law. The Superior Court first agreed with him, then the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Quebec.
The Supreme Court also agrees with Quebec. The ban on home cultivation is not criminal law. It helps “to ensure the effectiveness of the state monopoly and thus to protect the health and safety of the public”.
However, health is a shared jurisdiction, notes the Supreme Court, and Quebec is within its rights.
“The public health and safety objectives pursued by the provincial law and its prohibitions are, to a large extent, consistent with the objectives pursued by the federal law, and there is no reason to conclude that there are ‘a conflict,’ the judgment reads.
More details to come.