I will stick by my original statement that it will vary from case to case for a myriad of reasons and no "absolute" will likely evolve from it.
The laws terminology(Sec. 8) unfortunately/fortunately is vague and leaves certain aspects to the trier of fact.
At some point there will be a "generally accepted" time frame possibly that could come from it. "Generally" (complete guess for sake of discussion) 6 months to 2 years if still supported by the recommending physician for the patients current(past) medical condition.
Until then, procede at your own risk.
Addendum: Also, using the Acts reference to a 1 year card could be useful for some to show a recommendation is good for that long. Also though, that most physicians never give "prescriptions" for more than a year(usually less now) without seeing the patient again. No telling what will hapen for sure. But, All examples that support the defendant in court are okie dokie by me. Sec.8 is not governed by the time frames in the rest of the Act, but if it used as reference to get someone out of prosecution... Than peachy keen, go for it. :-)
I will still stick by original statement here. Can we all just agree with me and move on!
Hahaha... just kidding.
All sorts of angles and issues will come up surrounding the broadness or lack thereof of Sec. 8 defenses. It is made that way on purpose to allow the widest array of people to ATTEMPT to present a defense that would in the end cause dismissal. There are very few absolutes in Sec 8 besides dismissal if meeting the guidelines. The issue is, the guidelines are broad and purposefully worded to allow judicial discretion. Same as a justified murder case.
When undefined on the recommendation validity question, the court will turn to other references such as dictionaries, precedent, common practices and generally accepted standards.
These interpretations will vary from case to case(purposefully) and allows for 3 specific and broad points to be determined by the trier of fact.
We are debating an answer that will likely never exist in an absolute term. There will likely be a range of outcomes, fully justifiable, that will eventually become generally accepted standards based on previous justifications of dozens if not hundreds of dismissed or not dismissed cases.
You can and absolutely have the right to argue your 3 year old rec is legitimate and dam well best hope you have a physician that will testify for you and you MAY get your case dismissed. Again Judicial discretion intermingles witht he 3 requirements of a Sec. 8 defense.
Edited by Malamute, 25 July 2012 - 02:51 PM.