A Supreme Court in Bermuda has ruled that “ordinary citizens” are technically able to apply for medical cannabis licenses, the Royal Gazette reports. Judge Stephen Hellman ruled that the Minister of National Security has the ability to consider a medical cannabis application rather than Ministry of Health, meaning one might not necessarily need permission from the Chief Medical Officer to obtain medical cannabis.
Kamal Worrell, the attorney who argued the case, pointed out that under the 1972 Misuse of Drugs Act, the National Security Minister can issue a license for the importation of controlled substances, and at least one person has bypassed the Health Ministry to receive a personal license to possess cannabis-related products.
“Forms exist for this process, which we have had sight of as a result of this exercise,” Worrell said in the report. “There are also guidelines to assist those who wish to make a personal application for the importation and use of cannabis, or any other controlled drug, for that matter.”
The Health Minister, along with the Attorney General’s Office, has denied medicinal cannabis requests under the 2014 Cannabinoid Pharmaceutical Products Act, which allows the Health Minister to deschedule or remove drugs from the prohibited list on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer — Worrell successfully argued that the 2014 Act does not supersede the 1972 Act.
“A lot of people have been asking for the medical use of cannabis, particularly cancer patients. The tragedy is that the minister, together with the Attorney General’s chambers, had taken the view that the law did not permit such a thing,” Worrell said. “But once a doctor says that they are prescribing it for you, the minister would be hard-pressed not to follow through on the recommendation.”
According to the report, the island’s government is also considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
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