On Wednesday June 22 prosecutors will seek to delay the 90 day marijuana legalization ruling via an interoloctory hearing at Ontario Court of Appeal (130 Queen St. West) 10 a.m. The deadline stoppage would last until court of appeal has rendered its decision. This is not the appeal of R v. Mernagh, but a hearing specifically for deadline stoppage.
Recent announcements regarding proposed changes to Canada’s medical marijuana program do not solve the problems uncovered in R v. Mernagh. Under the proposed changes doctors would remain gatekeepers. The core issue Ontario Superior Court justice D.J. Taliano found to be unconstitutional. Health Canada needs to address this specific problem. Not with an application change, but with changing who is manning the gates to legal medical marijuana.
Matt Mernagh and lawyer Paul Lewin learned about the proposed changes during an at times terse cross examination of Health Canada’s director. Mernagh provided the details to Cannabis Culture. In preparation for Wednesday June 22 Health Canada testified (in a closed hearing) it would be unable to fulfil the 90 day requirement. Hence the agency needed more time.
We’re not satisfied. The proposed changes focuses on distribution, but not access. There’s no indication what the application will look like. Other than it will be one page.
Prosecutors may loose their motion on Wednesday, but use the proposed changes to stop an effort by someone on July 11 using R v. Mernagh to beat a cannabis charge. Mernagh was served an appeal notice a week after the ruling, but Health Canada waited until almost the last minute to announce a plan they’ve had in the works for sometime.
The case has garnered national and international attention. With both Minister of Health and Minister of Justice commenting on the groundbreaking ruling. However, government official suggests their proposed changes announcement has nothing to do with the pending hearing.