Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository




Robert Solomon


The Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted the constitutional principles entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to mean that everyone in Canada has a constitutional right to access necessary medical treatment without fear of criminal sanction. The latest research suggests cannabis (marihuana) provides a unique medicinal benefit that, for some individuals, is necessary. The federal criminal prohibition of cannabis deprives many individuals of a potentially beneficial medicine and stigmatizes them with a criminal record.

Without a valid medical cannabis access system, the criminal prohibition is invalid. The current Marihuana Medical Access Regulations were recently struck down. Parliament is considering substantive changes and will propose new Regulations in late 2012.

There are a range of regulations that would meet the requirements of the Charter. Based on the best available medical evidence and constitutional analysis, I recommend a regulatory system that will maximize legitimate access and minimize attendant harm.