Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Laws




Jacob Shelley


On April 20, 2016, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that legislation legalizing recreational marijuana would be introduced in Spring 2017, with the goal of keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and profit out of the hands of criminals. Bill C-45, An Act Respecting Cannabis passed the second reading in the House of Commons, and contains restrictions on advertising cannabis, with a few exceptions. Advertising is recognized as a protected form of expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so if the government infringes on this right, they must be able to prove that it is justified in a free and democratic society, pursuant to section 1 of the Charter. The Supreme Court of Canada has twice assessed restrictions on tobacco advertising, providing a framework for assessing whether advertising restrictions pass constitutional muster. Using this framework, this thesis analyzes whether the proposed restrictions on advertising marijuana are constitutional.