Canada becomes the second federal government to legalize recreational marijuana with the passage of The Cannabis Act. The bill passed the Canadian Senate in June 2018, and after the bill receives Royal Assent, citizens can begin purchasing marijuana legally in October 2018. More specifically, Canadian citizens will be allowed to:
- Purchase marijuana from a licensed retailer or producer
- Possess up to 30 grams in public
- Share up to 30 grams with other adults
- Grow up to four plants no taller than 1 meter each
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs decriminalization of marijuana in Canada because he believes it will help keep it out of the hands of youth. Whether or not that proves to be true, legalizing recreational marijuana will undoubtedly create a variety of legal issues with little precedent in Canadian law. As a Halifax personal injury law firm with experience in drug-related injuries, McKiggan Hebert is anticipating some of the situations that could face citizens and businesses:
In Colorado, one of the first American states to legalize recreational marijuana, a tragic case resulted in a lawsuit against a bakery specializing in THC-infused goods. According to the court filing, a man shot and killed his wife soon after eating one of the baked goods and allegedly having a psychotic episode. The family’s three children filed the suit.
Quality of cannabis and cannabis-related products sold in legal dispensaries in Canada may be difficult to regulate. If a consumer believes a legally purchased cannabis product has led to injury or illness, they should contact a lawyer experienced in personal injury law.
Product liability might also be at issue in an impaired driving arrest. If a legally purchased cannabis product resulted in a reaction different than expected or advertised, and that leads to an arrest or injury, the affected driver could argue that the manufacturer or dispensary bears some responsibility for the incident.
A survey of Canadian human resource professionals found about half believe their companies’ policies are inadequate for dealing with an anticipated rise in marijuana use after legalization. Negligent activity at a workplace following legal marijuana use, that then results in harm to another person, places companies, individuals and the marijuana industry in a complex legal relationship.
Fraud, negligence and failure to warn are among some of the other legal issues that could arise from marijuana legalization in Canada. If you think you become a victim of a marijuana-related injury following legalization, call McKiggan Hebert Lawyers toll free at (902) 423-2050 or request a free consultation.