Cannabis Extracts in Supreme Court
$9,436 of $15,000 goal
Extracted Cannabis oil should be available to Canadian Patients.
Since I was arrested in 2009, I have led a constitutional challenge with Kirk Tousaw, Ted Smith and the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club for medical cannabis patients to use edible or topical products. We were successful in the BC Supreme Court, convincing a judge that the regulations are unconstitutional because they do not allow patients legally allowed to possess cannabis to make any derivatives from it. This decision allowed thousands of patients in BC to legally make and use extracts. In Aug 2014, we were supported by the BC Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 split decision. Now after the government appealed that too, on March 20th, 2015 we will be the first ever medical cannabis case to be presented to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The legal costs for such a campaign are one of the default punishments of being charged with an unjustified crime. Any Donation is welcome to help shoulder the mighty burden of taking on a stubborn Harper government.
The V-CBC has been paying the vast majority of the cost of the case (around 100K) so far and it is not fair that those patients bear the entire costs for a trial that benefits so many others.
I have since been acquitted of the charges, but the Canadian Government continue to fight patients' access to all but "dried Marihuana". Our hope is that when successful, extracted Cannabis products will be available to all Canadian patients who need them.
It is time we move forward with cannabis as a medicine and include the simple extraction techniques required to isolate the medicinal compounds from the inert bulk of the plant.
Please support our efforts by helping us to pay for the associated costs of travelling to Ottawa to hammer home this constitutional argument.
Any financial support above our initial 15K goal will go toward legal costs such as our expert witness cannabis scientist Dr. David Pate and our legal team.
Many Thanks from me, Owen Smith, the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, and all Canadian medical cannabis patients for your generous donation and/or for sharing this fundraiser with your friends.
Please Read the Articles below for more information about the Constitutional Challenge
Here is a detailed Timeline of the Constitutional Challenge
and visit www.CannabisDigest.ca for daily updates
You can also donate directly to the V-CBC at
826 Johnson St.
Here is a graphic explaining what your donation will help to pay for.
RvSmith Fundraising Wrap-up
The long road of trials that made up the six year RvSmith constitutional challenge was about as successful as such a legal quest can be. The Supreme Court of Canada delivered a landmark ruling that affirmed patients rights to choose a logically safer form of their medicine. I was found not guilty and the products that I was making so many years ago are now more widely available than ever. Due to their inability to enforce cannabis prohibition in a constitutionally acceptable manner the government quickly scrambled to create a series of section 56 exemptions.
Health Canada’s haste in creating these limited exemptions should not be confused with the excitement shared amongst medical cannabis patients. Health Canada are not rejoicing; they were forced into providing patients with a way to access, and producers with a way to supply, cannabis oil.
Victoria-cannabis-buyers-club-Cookies-copy_thumbWe could not have achieved this feat without the help of many people. The cumulative costs exceeded $120,000, the vast majority of which came from the V-CBC. Over the nearly two decades that the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club has operated they have sought to use all accumulated funds to increase the quality of service for their membership; find new ways to educate the public and subsidize the cost of the medicine for those who can’t afford it. Because of this legal campaign, some of these membership benefits had to be cut, but members were generally happy to support this legal campaign as it sought to protect their only source for medicinal cannabis products.
In 2012 our first victory made the creation of these cannabis products legal for all patients in British Columbia. Our final victory in the Supreme Court of Canada spread this benefit to all patients Canada wide. The section 56 exemptions have passed the benefit along to licensed producers, five of whom have already been issued cannabis oil production licenses. It should be a historical note of importance that an effort that has helped so many and received such widespread acceptance came from a small group of chronically ill yet incredibly resilient Canadians.
For this reason we are even more grateful for the support that we did receive through online fund raising using the Gofundme the platform; cheques sent directly to our lawyer, Kirk Tousaw; and through events like the “Canadian Concentrate Open”. The Gofundme effort has collected $9,286 from 95 people over the last eight months. We received support in the form of cheques sent directly in the mail from parties that would prefer to remain anonymous but also $5000 came from Dana Larsen’s Vancouver dispensary society and Jade Ridge donated $500. Red Beard of Red Beard Glass and the Great Canadian Glass Gathering, created a custom cookie monster Bong and auctioned off to Rob Wadell of Planetary Pride for $3000 which went toward the cause. Perhaps the largest contribution beside that of the V-CBC came from a series of “Canadian Concentrate Open’s” totalling approximately $10,000.
Our experience serves as an example for others who may be unjustly charged of a cannabis crime and choose to launch a quest to dismantle the spectre stalked institutions of cannabis prohibition. The illusion of dried marihuana that was banished by the facts established by expert witnesses and confirmed by all levels of the judiciary has been recast by Health Canada in their section 56 exemptions along with a new and equally dubious concept named “fresh marijuana”. This insistence toward vague concepts coupled with the government lawyers repeated requests that prosecutor discretion should be the authority when choosing to charge people, makes the likelihood of more constitutional challenges like my own seem high.
I hope your experience following this lengthy legal crusade has been educational and inspiring. I hope that you would consider supporting similar efforts in the near future if they arise. I hope that they never do. A change in government at this year’s Federal election in Canada could go a long way toward ensuring that every little detail, however important, doesn’t need six years of highly expensive court proceedings to become a reality.
The RvSmith extract trial that I recently brought to the Supreme Court of Canada has been almost entirely funded by the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. As with previous court battles, the cost of navigating the law acts as an inherent tax on the club, keeping it from advancing out of debt. Since the V-CBC has been paying GST on their products, they have also been contributing (like all tax payers) to their own prosecution.
Thanks to the recent fundraising push on social media and through the GoFundMe website, we have been able to recover some of the expenses of this ordeal. Over $7,000 has been donated online and around $10,000 offline. Due to unforeseen additional legal expenses, our Ottawa bill was $10,000 more than we had expected. This means we will need to continue our plea for support with these costs while we wait for a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.
Donations can be made directly to Kirk Tousaw by marking a Cheque to ‘Tousaw Law Corporation’ with the memo line, Owen Smith Trust Account, and send it to 4768 Fairbridge Drive, Duncan, BC V9L6N8.
Also donations can be made to the V-CBC at 826 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC, V8W1N3.
Read about our short trip to Ottawa and more on the Cannabis Digest blogs.
Thankyou to everybody who has donated so far. You are helping us to make history for medical cannabis patients across Canada.