Illegal Again to Grow Cannabis in Quebec

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Over the last 4 years, growing cannabis in Quebec from one’s home has gone from being illegal, to being legal, to finally become illegal again recently. The story may not even be over.

First step: Legalization

Canada first legalized cannabis in 2018. With the legalization of cannabis, the federal government set some minimum national standards. For example, Canadians would be allowed to grow a maximum of 4 cannabis plants per person.

However, each province would be free to make their own rules surrounding cannabis. For its part, Quebec decided that it would make it illegal to posses a cannabis plant and grow any cannabis for personal purposes. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s criminal. Breaking the law by growing cannabis could land you a fine, like a speeding ticket.

2nd step: Challenge

A citizen decided to contest the ban against possessing a cannabis plant and growing cannabis for personal purposes. He argued that the province did not have the power to ban Quebecers from possessing a cannabis plant and growing cannabis for personal purposes because the federal government allowed growing up to 4 plants.

In June of 2019, the Quebec Superior Court agreed, and declared that Quebecers could possess and grow cannabis plants for personal use. This meant that it became legal in Quebec.

3rd step: The Court of Appeal renders its decision

However, the story doesn’t end there. The Quebec government appealed that decision to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal recently declared that the lower court decision was incorrect. The court declared that the province had the power to ban Quebecers from possessing and growing any cannabis plants.

 So, growing cannabis for personal purposes has gone back to being illegal in Quebec.

4th step: Is the saga over?

The Quebec Court of Appeal decision may not be the final word on the matter. The citizen may try to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. In that case, the Supreme Court will decide whether growing cannabis for personal purposes is legal in Quebec.