cannabisnews.com: Judges Rule An End To The Pot Party





Judges Rule An End To The Pot Party
Posted by CN Staff on October 08, 2003 at 14:04:41 PT
By Tracey Tyler, Legal Affairs Reporter
Source: Toronto Star 
The party's over. The province's short-lived flirtation with wide-open marijuana use ended yesterday when the Ontario Court of Appeal restored a federal narcotics law making marijuana possession a criminal offence.While the decision was a setback for recreational pot smokers  and a political defeat for those fighting to reform Canada's drug laws  many medical marijuana users were treating it as a major victory.
The court made it easier for medical users to obtain a reliable supply of the drug by allowing licensed growers to produce plants for more than one person, potentially through large-scale farming operations, and to be compensated for their labour. The decision also removes a requirement that would-be medical users need a second medical specialist to support their application.Existing federal rules governing medical marijuana use were unconstitutional because they forced people with serious illnesses to turn to illicit black-market sources, in violation of their right to life, liberty and security of the person, the court said yesterday in a decision written collectively by Mr. Justice David Doherty, Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge and Madam Justice Janet Simmons."Requiring law-abiding citizens who are seriously ill to go to the black market to fill an acknowledged medical need is a dehumanizing and humiliating experience," the court said. "Equally, driving business to the black market is contrary to better narcotic control."The decision upholds a ruling made by Mr. Justice Sidney Lederman of the Superior Court of Justice last January in the case of 10 sick people and one "caregiver" who wanted Ottawa to supply them with the drug.However, while Lederman struck down the existing rules, the appeal court decided instead to fix the problem by rewriting the regulations governing the possession and growing of medical marijuana in a way that removes barriers to the drug and makes the scheme constitutionally valid.As a result, the law making it a crime to possess marijuana for any other purpose  invalid since July 31, 2001  went back on the books, effective yesterday.Changes to make the drug more accessible to medical users also take immediate effect. "Some of these people are terminally ill" and it would be "inconsistent with fundamental Charter values" if they were to die while waiting for changes to be made, the court said.The decision opens the door to medical marijuana users from coast to coast getting cheap drugs from "compassion clubs," which, to date, have been considered part of the black market. It's ironic the government has told medical users to turn to the black market, yet shut down many compassion clubs, "presumably because they contravene the law," the court said, dismissing the government's appeal of Lederman's ruling."The best thing that comes out of this is that it's a green light for rebuilding and expanding compassion centres across Canada," said law professor Alan Young, who represented several of the litigants."They're giving us an opportunity to ... create an underground economy, which we couldn't do before."We can, if we play this right, set up warehouses with thousands and thousands of plants for ourselves and the prices should come right down," he explained to clients who gathered at the court to obtain a copy of the 98-page ruling, released in conjunction with decisions in three other related cases.`Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, they just changed the bathwater.' -- Lawyer Alan YoungIn an interview later, Young said he can easily envision at least 50 of the 500 Canadians currently licensed to grow marijuana getting involved in perfectly legal, large-scale grow operations, which could yield between 3,000 and 5,000 plants.The number of plants they are allowed to grow is based on the user's prescribed dosage.If the product wasn't grown under licence for medical use, "three to five thousand plants would get you penitentiary time right now," he said. "That's when you're considered to be an organized crime-biker type."Marco Renda, of Dundalk, Ont., who uses pot to battle hepatitis C, called the decision to let growers cultivate for more than one person "perfect."Joyce Myrden, whose daughter Alison combats symptoms of multiple sclerosis with marijuana, said while medical users didn't succeed in striking down the law, the decision is a "step" in the right direction and "gives Alison something to keep fighting for."Young said the court delivered a "clear judgment" that removes the "chaos" that developed from recent court rulings over the question of whether possessing small amounts of marijuana is legal. It is also "a very clever decision," he said, because "this court caught on to what we were trying to do."His clients hoped that if the courts found the federal rules unconstitutional, prohibitions against marijuana possession would fall by the wayside, making pot-smoking legal across the board. The court settled on a less drastic remedy by rewriting the rules."Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, they just changed the bathwater," Young said. "Politically, we've lost."However, the court also confirmed that, prior to yesterday's ruling, the law prohibiting marijuana possession had been "of no force or effect since July 31, 2001"  leaving a big question mark as to what that means for charges still in the system or those that have already resulted in convictions.Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, who has introduced a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, called yesterday's ruling "a good decision" but says the government still has to consider its next step.Young said convictions imposed in the past 26 months are "null and void."The period of invalidity stems from a ruling the appeal court made three years ago in a case involving Terry Parker, a Toronto epileptic who uses marijuana.Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg gave the federal government a year to come up with a viable scheme that would allow would-be medical users to apply for permission to use marijuana legally.Rosenberg said if a workable scheme wasn't in place by July 31, 2001, the blanket ban against pot possession would cease to exist.The legal battle isn't quite over.The Supreme Court of Canada could rule this fall on a challenge to the laws banning recreational pot smoking, brought by Christopher Clay, who owned a store in London, Ont., called the Great Canadian Hemporium.Note: Appeal court restores law. -- Victory for medical users.With files from Les WhittingtonSource: Toronto Star (CN ON)Author: Tracey Tyler, Legal Affairs ReporterPublished: October 8, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Toronto Star Contact: lettertoed thestar.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Linkshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/can.htmReefer Sadness as Pot Law Valid Again http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17507.shtmlBlack Tuesday for Canadian Cannaphiles http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17499.shtmlOntario Court Reinstates Pot Lawhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17491.shtml 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on November 05, 2003 at 15:57:11 PT
afterburner
I just checked an no response from you. Something just isn't working and a suggestion would be go get a yahoo email and send it to me using yahoo. I have a couple yahoo emails for different things and they work fine. Just a suggestion.
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on November 05, 2003 at 15:43:08 PT:
FoM
I received your email. I may have sent my forward after you sent your test. I'm going to reply and see if that gets through.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 05, 2003 at 15:24:20 PT
afterburner
I checked and nothing showed up. I sent a test email to you. I'm not sure which address you are trying to send it to. This one should get thru to you for sure. 
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on November 05, 2003 at 15:15:13 PT:
FoM
Your email seemed to get stuck in my sent folder, so I forwarded it to you. Check if you received it this time.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 05, 2003 at 09:49:30 PT
afterburner
I just checked my emails and didn't receive anything from you. My dog is doing much better and thank you for asking. He seemed to do a remarkable recovery by morning. He still has a cough but not one that is worrisome. 
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on November 05, 2003 at 09:19:47 PT:
FoM
Thanks for the invite. I hope your dogs are alright. I'm planning to send you an e-mail. Look for it and let me know if you don't receive it. It either got sent 3 times or none. The send message keeps booting me out.???
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on November 04, 2003 at 15:40:45 PT:
I Finished my Retail Survey of Cannabis Devices
Three more stores are experiencing business as usual: continued interest in pipes and bowls, steady volume of customers. The customer is always right? The only change in operations is a warning to "Hot-boxers, yeh yeh" that due to the October 7th court ruling, smoking will no longer be allowed inside. "Smoke outside at your own risk.""To live outside the law, you must be honest." --Bob DylanIf you want to live in freedom, you need to be a soul rebel, a risk-taker. Isn't the USA a nation born of entrepreneurs, or risk-takers?To all my friends and acquaintances in the cannabis movement: We shall prevail. Cannabis culture is now above ground in Canada, and many people want it that way. Keep believing and keep up the good work. Let's vote out the rascals that prey on our culture for their own heinous gain.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 03, 2003 at 22:27:18 PT
afterburner
We would have really liked to meet you. If you come back this way please let me know. Thank you for the wishes. I got a young dog from a rescue service and she had a slight cough and my poor Rott got a full blown case of kennel cough. He was so sick last night I didn't think he was going to make it but he is much better tonight so I'm very happy. He's going to the Vet tomorrow when my husband gets home. It is great to have you back! The news is so weird these days. Good news and then bad news and then no news. Very weird to me.
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on November 03, 2003 at 22:10:48 PT:
FoM
I have just returned from a month-long painting contract in Ohio with only one rainy day off. If I had had the time and the wheels I would have tried to visit. Maybe next time. Happy birthday anyway. "Like a snowball rollin' down the side of a snow-covered hill, it's growin'" --The Temptations.I'm back at the keyboard and ready to rock.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 03, 2003 at 21:53:52 PT
afterburner
It's really good to see you. I was hoping everything was ok. I just got a year older at midnight and seeing you posting is a nice present. I still have the t-shirt hanging in our room. It's a friendly reminder to me that it isn't over yet just a little delayed in my opinion.
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on November 03, 2003 at 21:48:16 PT:
I Agree WW
And so does Marc Emery, who is planning to finance a Supreme Court challenge of the Ontario Court of Appeals law-making. The Summer of Legalization Becomes the Winter of Our Discontent!
The Summer of Legalization Smoke-Out Tour with Pot-TV 
 
Running Time: 11 min 
Date Entered: 07 Oct 2003 
http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2240.html
http://www.pot-tv.net/ram/pottvshowse2240.ram
All the cannabis smoking device retailers that I have surveyed today are still operating as business as usual. A legal pipe for a legal product. A court cannot rewrite a law, nor resuscitate a law it has already ruled as unconstitutional. This court decision is "smoke and mirrors." And 26 months of legality, I have a question: does a legal product purchased during the court-acknowledged legal period suddenly become illegal? If not, how does law enforcement distinguish between legal pot purchased during the legal period and so-called illegal pot purchased in the zombie period of the walking-dead law? Come on, Supreme Court, straighten out this mess. Parliament obviously has not the will to deal honestly and humanely with non-violent adult social pot tokers nor with medical pot patients. "What is the moral justification for persecuting pot users," says Marc Emery.Businessmen and advocates team up to deliver free medical marijuana 31 Oct, 2003 
Research, cultivation and distribution of medpot planned 
http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/3134.htmlThe battle moves beyond the courts and into the marketplace.ego transcendence follows ego destruction as surely as day follows night.
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Comment #5 posted by Virgil on October 11, 2003 at 18:41:06 PT
John Turmel
John Turmel is the opposite of the Washington Post. Where the Washington Post is highly restrained in using words for the cannabis story, they flow freely from JCT. Now it is hard to glean information when the words are not there and applying a filter to what we read is just natural. Now the one thing Turmel has done is document the battle against CP in Canada and his website at yahoo is a resource for someone that wants to boil it down in their kettle. But this is not about personalities although if you called Turmel a loser, he would be proud of it. He is already in the Guinness Book of World Records for losing the most elections at 55 or 56. He lost one a few weeks ago and plans on losing another one here shortly. But just like Emory says something so does Turmel and I personally credit him for advancing the term laughing grass for nomenclature that I also advance in brief encounters. I have said in passing conversation that things are upside down with the government. Laughing grass is a dangerous drug and depleted uranium is not harmful.Turmel used this article and did us a favor of showing his take on the article line by line- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedPot/message/982 I do not want to go into what Turmel says as this is his most coherent writing that I have read. Turmel was not only there, he was a party to the cases and he represented himself. He got there when others never even tried and he has years of dealing with the court system to draw upon. I would think there are thousands of regular readers here at Cnews yet no one commented one word on the article up by the Ottawa Citizen by Jake Rupert that appeared here- http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread17503.shtml In the same link above he goes through this article line by line. It is all deadly serious to him and all on topic replies. I may summarize some of his key thoughts later, but since this Saturday has only produced two articles some may want to read him directly. I will also put his link up at the Ottawa Citizen article and maybe say one or two things
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on October 08, 2003 at 17:26:19 PT
The laws don't work
Reefer Madness never ends, never. Scare tactics, propaganda, and continued demonizing of cannabis imbibers will always keep prohibitionists happy and satisfied that their lives are worth living. Somebody's gotta do it.However, smoking cannabis will continue to be done by those who want to smoke it. It's too much fun, and it just happens to be beneficial for anyone who partakes.  All of the laws in the world won't stop cannabis from being a medicine. It's natural efficacy cannot be extinguished no matter what laws are passed and placed on the books.
If anyone chooses to smoke some pot for whatever reason, good for them. The laws may say they can't, but nothing can really stop them.  http://www.cfdp.ca/giffen.htm
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 08, 2003 at 15:38:07 PT
I Just Found This Article
Liberals Move To Fast-Track Passage of Marijuana Bill: http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread17510.shtml
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Comment #2 posted by WolfgangWylde on October 08, 2003 at 15:34:31 PT
I'm sure this is one..
...for the lawyers to wrangle over, but as a layman, I'd argue that since the law was struck down, it remains so. Only the legislature can pass a new one, not the courts.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on October 08, 2003 at 14:22:32 PT
the good part
"The legal battle isn't quite over.The Supreme Court of Canada could rule this fall on a challenge to the laws banning recreational pot smoking, brought by Christopher Clay, who owned a store in London, Ont., called the Great Canadian Hemporium."That's right, antis!  The bell has rung on Round 1 but Prohibition has a bad cut over its eye and its legs are getting wobbly......
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