Marijuana Laws Struck Down in British Columbia 

  Marijuana Laws Struck Down in British Columbia 

Posted by CN Staff on September 12, 2003 at 22:58:30 PT
By Reverend Damuzi 
Source: Cannabis Culture 

Westernmost province joins Ontario, PEI and Nova Scotia in ending prohibition.Last September 4, Provincial Court Judge P Chen made a landmark ruling regarding marijuana laws in British Columbia. In his decision, Judge Chen said parts of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) are "invalid" and that "there is no offense known to law at this time for simple possession of marijuana" in the province.
Judge Chen's decision was based on a series of court cases in Ontario that led a judge there to strike down marijuana possession laws in January of this year. It all goes back to medpot user Terry Parker's case before the Ontario Court of Appeal in July, 2000. In the Parker case, Judge Rosenberg ruled the CDSA's pot possession laws unconstitutional, but delayed the section's repeal for one year, giving the government time to change the law.Rather than change the law, however, the Canadian government made medpot regulations, which it published one day before the one-year deadline. In January, 2003, Ontario Provincial Court Judge Phillips decided that regulations were not enough. Regulations can be changed easily by the cabinet, said the judge, unlike laws which require a democratic vote by parliament. Thus possession laws were struck down in Ontario.Not long after, court cases in PEI on March 14 and Nova Scotia on March 31 upheld the Ontario court decision, and it seemed that prohibition would fall from sea to shining sea, but as the pro-pot dominos dropped across the prairies, the ultraconservative stronghold of Saskatchewan stood firm against enlightened change. In a pot-possession case in mid-April, Saskatchewan Provincial Court Judge Orr ruled that he simply didn't agree that regulations weren't enough to save the CDSA from the Parker ruling.Then, when the first case challenging possession laws came to court in BC, Judge's predictably followed the Saskatchewan decision. On April 16, in a case titled R vs Nicholls, Provincial Court Judge Stansfield ruled that "It remains to be determined whether [medpot regulations] do or do not 'pass constitutional muster.'" Stansfield wanted to see what would develop in Ontario before making a decision.Afterwards, R vs Nicholls was regularly cited by BC Provincial Court Judges in pot-possession cases ­ until this September 4 and Judge P Chen's ruling.In his ruling, Judge P Chen's ruling pointed out that since R vs Nicholls, Ontario Court of Appeal Judge Rogin had upheld the decision to invalidate pot possession law on May 16. Judge Chen was the first BC judge to notice that the circumstances of the Nicholls ruling had changed. It was time to reassess the law.Then Judge Chen made new rulings sure to shake prohibition to it's core. First he addressed the Parker case, in which judge Rosenberg ruled section 4 of the CDSA unconstitutional and gave the government a year to change the law. Previous judges have interpreted this to mean that the law could be "fixed" by giving medpot patients legal use of cannabis. However, Judge Chen showed that the law was actually struck down as unconstitutional after one year and needed to be replaced by new a law. The idea was that this new law should include access to medpot. Instead, the government wrote medpot regulations that didn't address pot-possession. So the government totally missed the mark. If he "was wrong on this", Judge Chen was prepared to defend his ruling on other grounds. He quoted from the January 9,2003 Hitzig decision, in which judge Lederman found medpot regulations unconstitutional since they did not provide a legal supply of pot to patients who couldn't grow their own. Judge Lederman gave the government 6 months to fix the medpot regulations, by providing a legal supply, which the government did on July 8, 2003, one day before the deadline.But it "came too late", ruled Judge Chen. In order for medpot regulations to fix the CDSA, they should have been fully and constitutionally enacted before the one year deadline of July 31, 2001, as set out in the Parker case. Judge Chen's decision is not only more progressive than previous BC Provincial Court decisions, it also considers a wider and more up-to-date range of case law, and should set the standard for further decisions until the matter is decided in a higher court.Regina v. Kurtis Lee Masse: Jose Melendez Source: Cannabis Culture Author: Reverend DamuziPublished: September 12, 2003Copyright: 2003 Cannabis CultureContact: ccmag Website: Related Articles:Judge Allows Marijuana Ruling To Stand Legal in Ontario Laws Ban Possession of Marijuana 

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Comment #9 posted by rchandar on September 14, 2003 at 16:20:48 PT:
hmmm...i'd say get your mileage out of this. i doubt that the canadian government will allow this one to last forever without legal effort to reinstitute possession's possible, i guess, but seeing the diffidence and lack of resolve in the parliament to go through with their legislation--which they made a big push with, i doubt it. enjoy it while you can (grin, grin, grin).               --rchandar
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Comment #8 posted by WolfgangWylde on September 13, 2003 at 15:22:27 PT

Thanks puff_tuff...
...My right wing friends will be apoplectic. Poor babies.
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Comment #7 posted by ron on September 13, 2003 at 14:31:44 PT

mainstream media and marijuana
"Last September 4, Provincial Court Judge P Chen made a landmark ruling regarding marijuana laws in British Columbia.""Mainstream media is now picking up the story..." 
             puff tuff comment #6NINE days later and only CBC radio in Vancouver has commented on this landmark decision?  No wonder we're starting to call them presstitutes.  
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Comment #6 posted by puff_tuff on September 13, 2003 at 09:01:57 PT

New Ruling
WolfgangWylde asks ...Is this a NEW ruling, or just a summary of what what has already happen in months gone by? This is a new ruling (Sept.4, 2003) for the province of BC.Mainstream media is now picking up the story, CBC Radio (Vancouver) is airing this story with an interview with the lawyer and the comment that there is no decision YET from the Justice Dept. whether or not it will be appealed.Nothing online yet. 
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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 13, 2003 at 07:58:33 PT

The future of prohibition
In one sense, prohibition of marijuana will become like a muscle waiting for atrophy. It'll be a dead idea waiting to die some more. While Bush decides how many civil liberties to destroy, the world continues to change. 
Watch for the domino effect.Perhaps Bush will want to raise another 87 billion to fight the drug war in Canada and England.

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Comment #4 posted by gloovins on September 13, 2003 at 06:23:12 PT

NEW STORY (sorry FoM dont know how 2 post/submit)
Toddlers fed cannabis by babysittersADELAIDE, Australia, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- An Australian couple was in court Friday facing charges of supplying a prohibited substance after feeding two small girls spaghetti and marijuana sauce.The girls were hospitalized after their parents returned to the couple's house and found the children, 4 and 2, drowsy, the older girl nearly comatose, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported.Babysitting the children were Anthony John Patten, 22, and Karen Lee-Anne Anderson, 33, who were granted bail in Adelaide's Elizabeth Magistrates Court on condition they have no contact with any children, including Anderson's four children, ages nine to 15. Prosecutor Harry Scherwitzel said the two children had visited Patten and Anderson's home Thursday morning where the girls' father allegedly smoked cannabis with the babysitters before leaving with the girls' mother. Scherwitzel said Patten told police he later served the girls a lunch of spaghetti with a pasta sauce containing cannabis. Patten claimed he simply forgot what was in the sauce.gloovy comment: NO WORD ON HOW THE CHILDREN ARE NOW INTERESTING...LETS BE GLAD IT WASNT ALCOHOL-LACED.....
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Comment #3 posted by Jose Melendez on September 13, 2003 at 06:21:27 PT

P.H.U.C.K. them
Prohibitionists Habitually Use Courts of Kangaroos
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Comment #2 posted by WolfgangWylde on September 13, 2003 at 06:20:37 PT

I don't get it...
...Is this a NEW ruling, or just a summary of what what has already happen in months gone by? I like to post these an another forum so right-wing wackos (the kind that are cheering the Tommy Chong sentence) can get all hot and bothered, and would like to know.
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Comment #1 posted by gloovins on September 13, 2003 at 04:38:39 PT

Ya know...
The more Canada advances in basic public policy, the more I like it.Ohh, what's that sound you all hear?That's a domino, pushed over by the friendly green panthers of Canada..... 
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