The Question of Extracts in Canada: The Trial of Owen Smith (Part 1)

In this video, Cannabis in Canada Founding Director Jason Wilcox has an in-depth conversation with Owen Smith. In 2009, Smith was charged with producing a variety of editable products and cannabis extractions for the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of BC, in order to help medical patients alleviate suffering due to various illnesses.

In August, Cannabis in Canada reported on the story of Owen Smith. At that time the Court of Appeal for British Columbia had just issued a 2-1 decision in favour of the defense in the matter of R. v. Smith, in which the province’s highest court had given the federal government one year to change its regulations to permit the purchase of cannabis extracts. The 2-1 split decision does, however, allow for the government to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Oddly, the decision was misread in the courtroom. Activists, onlookers and even the media were confused and walked out of the courtroom thinking this was a defeat. It was only later when the CBC clarified the issue, that Smith and his supporters realized they had won the decision.

Said Smith of his victory, “I want sick people to know that there are people in society who they may not know personally, but who care about them enough to put their freedoms on the line.”

Of the court’s findings, the Cannabis in Canada Society and the MMAR Coalition against Repeal’s Jason Wilcox said at the time, “This precedence represents a huge victory in the province of BC and ADDS to the MMAR Coalition’s arsenal of evidence supporting our legal battle coming up against the Federal government in February 2015.”

According to Kirk Tousaw, Smith’s attorney, the court sees the medicinal qualities of cannabis and, “determined that these types of medical decisions go to the core of what it means to be an autonomous person living with dignity in our society.

Read more about Owen Smith here.