[JURIST] A judge for the Court of Appeal for Ontario stayed an April 11 ruling [text] that the country’s marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Justice David Taliano of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice [official website] invalidated [JURIST report] the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) [text] in April, finding that the program’s mechanisms for licensing patients to access medical marijuana [JURIST news archive] are insufficient. These inadequate licensing procedures led Taliano to strike down portions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act [text] that criminalize marijuana growth and possession. The Crown appealed [Montreal Gazette report] the Superior Court decision and the appeals court is currently waiting to hear that appeal. Taliano had ordered that Ottawa fix the medical marijuana program within 90 days or face the possible legalization of medical marijuana. The suspension of the lower court ruling effectively prevents these results from going into effect until the appeal court rules on the matter, which will likely take place in the fall [Toronto Sun report].
US Courts have also been forced to interpret medical marijuana statutes in recent years. In January 2010, the California Supreme Court [official website] overturned [JURIST report] a 2003 law limiting the amount of marijuana that may be possessed under the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) [materials]. Earlier that month, New Jersey became the fourteenth US state [JURIST report] to legalize medical marijuana. In November, voters in Maine approved [JURIST report] an expansion of the state’s existing medical marijuana laws, making Maine the fifth state to allow dispensaries, following California, Colorado, Rhode Island and New Mexico. California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled in 2008 that the MMP is not in conflict with the Supremacy Clause [JURIST report] and does not violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) [text].