CANADA: Two Vancouver lawyers who specialize in marijuana have warned that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. may have put itself at risk of litigation when on May 5 it revised how doctors should counsel patients on medicinal cannabis.
In separate interviews, Kirk Tousaw and John Conroy told the Straight a memo sent to B.C. doctors could result in a court challenge that argues the new rules violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Tousaw said the implications could be national. “It’s quite likely something that puts the entire Health Canada program of using physicians as gatekeepers to the lawful possession of cannabis into peril,” he explained.
The memo states that medicinal marijuana is “not appropriate” for patients under the age of 25, for those who have a history of psychosis or a substance-use disorder, or for anybody with a cardiovascular or respiratory disease. It is an official college “standard”, according to the regulator’s website, which means it reflects “relevant legal requirements” that are enforced under the province’s Health Professions Act.