Article by Susan Clairmont, Hamilton Spectator
A lawyer who says he represents hundreds of Hamilton medical marijuana patients believes police violated a court order by shutting down city pot shops.
Jack Lloyd says Hamilton police “cherry-picked” legislation to suit their goal of raiding marijuana dispensaries. He argues police relied on provincial laws when they should be abiding by a judge’s ruling allowing pot shops to distribute medical marijuana to licensed patients.
“Hamilton police have overstepped their jurisdictional authority,” says Lloyd, a Toronto-based lawyer with expertise in cannabis law. He plans to take them to court over it.
This chapter in the complicated saga of Canadian marijuana legislation began in August 2017 when Justice Thomas Lofchik of the Superior Court handed down an order allowing Hamilton Village Dispensary on King Street East to remain open to sell marijuana and marijuana products to those with prescriptions, while preventing sales to recreational users. Lloyd was the lawyer in that case and saw Lofchik’s order as a victory for vulnerable marijuana patients who cannot easily access Canada’s mail-order pot program.
“Precarious housing” makes it difficult for many marijuana patients to receive government issued cannabis, Lloyd says. Shelters generally do not allow Canada Post to deliver pot to their clients. And patients who couch surf or are homeless have no fixed address and therefore cannot have their prescriptions delivered, he says.
Computer access and bank accounts can also be barriers to mail-order access.
Lloyd interprets the judge’s ruling as allowing for “compassion club” shops to dispense cannabis to licensed patients.