A ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed on Friday that Quebec has banned personal possession and cultivation of cannabis plants for personal usage.
In the ruling, the court said that ‘the ban is to maintain effectiveness with the sales of cannabis in the province to preserve the health and safety of Quebec’s residents.’
According to the Cannabis Regulation Act, Quebec residents can be fined between $250 and $750 if people break this law.
Chief Justice Wagner participated in the ruling and according to the Chief Justice, this ban will be an incentive to have control over the products sold, education about cannabis and the risks, and abide by Quebec’s provincial rules and regulations.
In 2019 this ruling was first introduced to the Superior Court of Quebec by Janick Murray-Hall, a resident of the province.
In the ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, Murray-Hall said that the federal government only has the power to ban cannabis plants on a criminal law basis, under federal jurisdiction.
Murray‑Hall also said that even with this ban in effect, federal laws should still trump the provincial laws in Quebec.
The judge overall decided the ban to be constitutional because this relates to two sections in the constitution. The two sections allow provinces to create laws related to property and civil rights, according to the ruling.
The other section allows Quebec to create laws of local or private variety. The final result declared that residents in Quebec cannot possess cannabis plants.
Even though this issue impacts whether provincial or federal regulations hold priority over another, other provinces such as B.C. and Ontario joined in support of Quebec’s Cannabis Regulation Act.
However, Quebec’s provincial law does affect Canada’s overall federal law. When the Government of Canada legalized cannabis on October 17, 2018, adults could now grow up to four cannabis plants per household - with the legal age of purchase being 18 years of age.
As more provinces in Ontario pass legislation on cannabis plants for better or worse, the future for cannabis users may entail strict government-regulated cannabis products.
Edited by Kavya Venkateshwaran
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