BC Ferries Claims Medical Cannabis Users Have No Right To Use While On Ship

A medical cannabis user was confronted by BC Ferries staff for medicating while on his way home to Vancouver island.

Ryan Malazdrewicz said he began smoking in one of the ships designated smoking zones and was immediately confronted by a ship officer, followed by more crew.

After seeing no signage prohibiting the use of medical cannabis, finding no written policy against its use and consulting lawyer Kirk Tousaw, Malazdrewicz returned to the deck when he was confronted again, by the staff member in the video who refused to show his name badge on camera.

“You’re not allowed to smoke marijuana on the BC Ferries property,” said the staff member, who identified himself only as James. “I just told you not to smoke marijuana on this ship. There’s little kids —  women and children on this ship.

“Get your lawyer on this, because you’re going to need it.”

Malazdrewicz wrote on Facebook that after investigating the company’s procedure, he was told it’s against policy for staff to not identify with an employee number.

It’s also nowhere posted anywhere that you cannot smoke cannabis in [the] smoking section,” Malazdrewicz wrote. “This is a regurgitation of false ignorant statements no different to racism or sexism.”

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told the CBC that, even if a person has the legal right to use medical cannabis, the ferry prohibits any cannabis use the same way it treats alcohol.

“When issuing these cards, Health Canada does not specify where or when a person may use marijuana; the holder of the card is expected to use discretion in that regard,” Marshall wrote. “Use in a public place may be considered inappropriate depending upon the circumstances, and a private company/property holder’s policies are to be complied with.”