Ont. Cops Told To Enforce Pot Laws

  Ont. Cops Told To Enforce Pot Laws

Posted by CN Staff on October 16, 2003 at 11:42:19 PT
By Gillian Livingston 
Source: Canadian Press  

Toronto -- The glory days for Ontario marijuana-smokers are over, at least for now, with provincial police poised to start laying possession charges again after months of turning a blind eye to public toking across the province when pot laws were temporarily loosened. Ontario Provincial Police officers have been advised that they can now enforce Canada's laws against simple possession of pot after a court ruling last week clarifed that the law was constitutional. 
Superintendent Bill Crate, director of corporate communications for the Ontario Provincial Police, said Thursday that officers have been told that they can now enforce the law - which had been suspended since earlier this year due to a previous court ruling. "What the ruling means for us is it's basically clarified that simple possession . . . is constitutionally valid and now subject to the full force and effect of the law." "We can now as police in Ontario enforce that law accordingly," he said. Ontario's pot possession laws were called into question earlier this year by a court case in which an Ontario Court judge in Windsor threw out a marijuana possession charge against a 16-year-old boy. The boy's lawyer successfully argued that since there was no effective program for sick people to possess medical marijuana without breaking the law, then the law doesn't prohibit possession. That ruling was upheld on appeal. But an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling on Oct. 7 struck down parts of the federal government's medical marijuana access program, thereby making it - in the court's eyes - effective and constitutionally valid. By fixing the medical marijuana program, the court ruling made the pot possession laws constitutionally valid again. That ruling effectively sealed a legal loophole. At the time of the ruling, lawyers said the "summer of pot" was now over and warned people that police would take action again. However, those apprehended by police for possessing pot during the time when the law was in question may get a break. While the validity of the law was in doubt, Ontario provincial police officers were told to "use judgment" when investigating the offence of simple pot possession, Crate said. Officers were to seize the marijuana, submit it as an exhibit and follow all other procedures but not lay charges. For any pot possession instances during that time "we're asking (officers) to seek Crown advice concerning seizures that occurred," Crate said. "It means they may or may not prosecute." He also said laying charges now against people who were apprehended with marijuana in the summer wasn't likely. "I think that will be difficult since the validity of the law was in question," Crate said. The OPP sent out the advisory to its 163 detachments on Oct. 8, a day after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling. None of the rulings affected the law against the possession of pot for the purpose of trafficking. That law has continued to remain in effect. Source: Canadian Press Author: Gillian LivingstonPublished: Thursday, October 16, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Canadian PressRelated Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Allows Marijuana Ruling To Stand Legal in Ontario Laws Ban Possession of Marijuana 

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Comment #21 posted by FoM on October 17, 2003 at 18:26:24 PT

News Article from Snipped Source
Pot Crusader Claims Law Does Not Exist
 Barb Pacholik, Leader-Post Friday, October 17, 2003
As marijuana smoke wafted through the air outside Regina Provincial Court on Thursday, pot crusader Marc Emery remained defiant about the possession charge he cultivated to challenge the law."My contention has been . . . that there was no marijuana possession law for over two years in this country, and therefore all the convictions that were obtained by the Crown in that time in Saskatchewan and other provinces are unlawful and should be overturned," Emery told reporters as he stood among about 30 supporters. Some were openly smoking marijuana as police and court officials came and went."People were convicted of a law that doesn't exist," he contended.But Emery never got a chance to argue that point after his trial on a charge of possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana was put off to Jan. 19.Hal Wellsch, agent for the federal Crown, told Judge Clifford Toth an adjournment was needed because a witness was unavailable. In addition, Emery's lawyer only notified the Crown on Oct. 9 that they intend to mount a constitutional challenge, which wasn't sufficient notice to proceed. In granting the delay, Judge Clifford Toth chalked it up to a "joint" request by Crown and defence.The charge against Emery, who hails from Vancouver, B.C., stems from a rally outside the Regina police station on July 12. Emery lit up a marijuana pipe in full view of several police officers.At the time, Emery was travelling to police stations across the country and toking up to press his point that marijuana possession was legal because of an Ontario court decision. "People should behave as though it's legal," he said. However, police in six of the 18 cities he visited didn't agree and charged him. The trial in Regina would have been the first one stemming from his pot tour.The legal loophole -- if there was one -- in the marijuana laws was fixed Oct. 7 by an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, and police in that province are once again laying possession charges.Copyright: 2003 The Leader-Post (Regina) 
 Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #20 posted by Virgil on October 17, 2003 at 11:40:31 PT

Canadian media

Tom Friedman made an interesting comment on the media in the NYT in his October 16th article at the link dotted below.  Here are the first three paragraphs.There was a headline that grabbed me in The Times on Saturday. It said, "Cheney Lashes Out at Critics of Policy on Iraq.""Wow," I thought, "that must have been an interesting encounter." Then I read the fine print. Mr. Cheney was speaking to 200 invited guests at the conservative Heritage Foundation — and even they were not allowed to ask any questions. Great. Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein issue messages from their caves through Al Jazeera, and Mr. Cheney issues messages from his bunker through Fox. America is pushing democracy in Iraq, but our own leaders won't hold a real town hall meeting or a regular press conference.Out of fairness, my newspaper feels obligated to run such stories. But I wish we had said to the V.P.: If you're going to give a major speech on Iraq to an audience limited to your own supporters and not allow any questions, that's not news — that's an advertisement, and you should buy an ad on the Op-Ed page.There was an interesting situation where the Canadian government imposed a million dollar fine on an independent newspaper, Georgia Straight, by saying it was not a newspaper because it did not have 25% editorial content. This media release below relays the news that the 4 years of back taxes does not apply as they now recognize that the newspaper is a newspaper.The interesting fact is the 25% editorial content rule. How can we not hear more about the Canadian station if there is a rule such as that?FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe CAJ applauds BC Government decision to withdraw demand of $1-million
from the Georgia Straight newspaper(Vancouver) October 16, 2003 - The Canadian Association of Journalists
welcomes a move by the BC government to reverse a decision that would have
forced The Georgia Straight Newspaper to pay over $1-million dollars in
sales tax.Last week, it was revealed that the B.C. government had decided The
Georgia Straight was no longer qualified to call itself a "newspaper."The government claimed newspapers must have at least 25 per cent editorial
content, and that The Georgia Straight does not meet this requirement.
Because of this re-interpretation of the rule's application, the government
told The Straight it must pay sales tax under the Social Service Tax Act -
a tax that newspapers are exempt from paying. The government added that
its decision
was retroactive, so The Straight in fact owed four years' worth of taxes,
to the tune of over $1-million dollars."This financial hardship would cripple Vancouver's flagship independent
newspaper," said National Director (B.C.) Erica Johnson. "Vancouver is a
city where both major dailies and a number of TV and radio stations - are
owned by
one company. Moves by government to cause financial hardship have the
effect of weakening the diversity of voices in Vancouver's media."The Georgia Straight said paying hefty taxes would be financially
devastating and urged the provincial government to reconsider its decision.
The following day, the B.C. government decided the 36-year old Georgia
Straight is, in fact, a newspaper. It reversed the $1-million dollar tax
assessment levied against the paper.The Canadian Association of Journalists has given awards to the Georgia
Straight for its investigative journalism numerous times, including last
year. "Some of Canada's strongest print journalists write for The
Straight," said Johnson. "We would like to see that continue."The CAJ is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists, with
about 1,300 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide
advocacy and professional development for its members, and public-interest

NYT link will expire
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on October 17, 2003 at 11:07:30 PT

Off Topic: Al Gore's All-News Channel
Al Gore is buying or someone is buying the Canadian News Channel, News World International. I hope NWI doesn't change. I've learned so much from it.
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Comment #18 posted by E_Johnson on October 17, 2003 at 10:34:05 PT

Yes it is a chicken war isn't it?
I wonder -- does it make them happy or frustrated that they're pointing their huge loaded automatic rifles at people who don't believe in pointing them back?
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Comment #17 posted by kaptinemo on October 17, 2003 at 10:08:20 PT:

The perfect place for them, E_J:Iraq
Of course, you saw that coming. But you also saw this coming, too:They wouldn't go there unless you did to them what they've done to so many others: held a gun to their heads to ensure their compliance.Cops like to bust cannabists. We've even had instances of comments published here where cops have inadvertantly stated so. We don't shoot back, whereas someone tanked up on alky and waving a pistol might be more than inclined to.But even the odds? Have your prospective targets ready and waiting with automatic small arms up to mechanized weapons platforms? Then all of a sudden the bravado vanishes, and the sweat droplets start falling like rain.That is at the heart of so much of what I've seen regarding the psychology and sociology of law enforcemnt. I knew lots of Fed LEO's who loved to dress up in their SWAT outfits, and swagger around in their body armor and waving automatic weapons...who never served a day in the military or had a bullet go past their head fired in anger. They might be great against peaceable cannabists, but come up against some inner city denizen who grew up the hard way and has had practice with a weapon, and you'll realize why they wear black so often...easy to hide those dark stains that might erupt from their nether regions should someone bust caps in their direction.If they wanted to be real hard-asses, they'd have joined the same outfits I did in the military. There's nothing to keep them from doing so, and as always, "The Army needs men!". Despite what many people think, you can get just as dead in 'peacetime' as you can during war. Military service is dirty, dangerous, and demanding of all you have and more. Always has been, and anyone who thinks otherwise must not have a DD214 in his dossier. But you will see bloody few LEO's *going into* the military.They might get *hurt*, you see...
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Comment #16 posted by WolfgangWylde on October 17, 2003 at 09:51:25 PT

Comment 12...
...doesn't mean anything. The ruling was rendered one day before the Ontario Supreme Court reinstated the law. If it had been one day later, those people would still be facing criminal charges.
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Comment #15 posted by E_Johnson on October 17, 2003 at 09:17:56 PT

It's about jobs, not truth
Where would a drug cop work if the war on drugs ended?They have very specialized skills. They are not marketable at all as employees or management in mainstream employment.Look what skills one has to cultivate to be a drug cop:Lyingcheatingpretending to be other peopleorganizing armed home invasionsparticipating in armed home invasionsachieving verbal dominance over peoplevandalizing propertyWho is going to hire anyone with this set of job skills?These guys must really be terrified, because the War on Drugs has made them unemployable in any other profession, and they have families to feed just like we do.Everyone here has to realize -- we are not fighting a war of reason, we are fighting an enemy possessed by blind fear of what could happen to their jobs if we win.They are going to stoop to anything, any dirty low down amoral trick in the book -- to keep from having to take their Drug War skills to a peace time job market.
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Comment #14 posted by Jose Melendez on October 17, 2003 at 08:58:20 PT

Law Enforcement Ignores Truth"alcohol is more closely linked to violent crime than illegal drugs behind bars."
Go Fight Real Crime!
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Comment #13 posted by Virgil on October 17, 2003 at 08:28:38 PT

I think they called the Ontario Supreme Court rulings bullshit.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on October 17, 2003 at 08:25:46 PT

What Does This Article Mean?
Second Judge Rules Pot Laws Full of Smoke
 Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun Friday, October 17, 2003 
For the second time in two months, B.C. judges have ruled the law against possession of marijuana does not exist.In a decision last week Provincial Court Judge Marion Buller Bennett stayed charges of marijuana possession against two people in Port Coquitlam, saying court rulings in Ontario rendered the law invalid.Her decision follows a decision on Sept. 6 by Judge Patrick Chen in New Westminster that also declared the law invalid.However, John Conroy, an Abbotsford defence lawyer who specializes in marijuana cases, said he doubts B.C. will see any similar rulings in the future.That's because both B.C. rulings are based in large part on a May 16 decision by the Ontario Superior Court that the law against marijuana possession is invalid. That decision was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal -- effectively reinstating the law against marijuana possession -- on Oct. 7, a day after Buller Bennett's ruling in Port Coquitlam."That seems to undercut the basis for these decisions," said Conroy. "The Ontario Court of Appeal's decision is pretty hard to overcome."Lyse Cantin, a spokeswoman with the federal justice department, said Crown prosecutors have already filed an appeal of the Chen decision, but have not decided whether to appeal Buller Bennett's ruling. After Chen's decision the justice department stressed that unlike rulings by higher courts, decisions by provincial court judges are not binding on other cases. "The Chen decision is a lower court decision, so it's not binding on other courts," said Cantin.However, in her ruling, Buller Bennett noted that Chen's ruling heavily influenced her own. For the past three years, a number of people have challenged Canada's marijuana laws in the courts and judges in different provinces have issued several contradictory rulings.

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Comment #11 posted by WolfgangWylde on October 17, 2003 at 07:53:18 PT

If you think its bad now...
...wait until the new "decrim" bill passes. Canada will be more like the U.S. than ever. Recents events have led me to the conclusion that North American pot-smokers aren't ever going to get the kind of relief seen in Europe. We're screwed. Keep your heads down, and stay safe.
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Comment #10 posted by goneposthole on October 17, 2003 at 07:25:16 PT

eye opener
I did a search on Pharmos (PARS).Search words: Pharmos, sec violations.One result: be the judge.Question: Why use a synthetic product when a natural one will suffice?Quit arresting people for using a plant.
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Comment #9 posted by Kegan on October 17, 2003 at 06:11:23 PT

To the Editor,Why is it exactly that the OPP are so keen to bust marijuana people? With 80% of Canadians approving of medical access to cannabis, and 60 % favoring recreational access, it is clear that Canadians would rather see their police forces doing actual police work, rather than "plant eradication".Most of the grow-op busts they make are mom-&-pop grows, not "organized crime". An RCMP study examining the last 12,000 grow op busts in B.C. revealed that guns were found at 6% of these residences. Ironically, police reports indicate that about 24% of homes in the province contain a firearm. In other words, cops are far more likely to find a weapon in the average domestic disturbance call, then they are at a "grow op". 
Ontario is likely to have similar statistics.With still no sign of Ardeth Wood's killer (among other unsolved crimes), I sincerely wonder why the Police are so keen to continue to make war on regular citizens for growing a plant? The OPP need to get their priorities straight. How much longer are Canadians expected to allow this madness to continue?
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Comment #5 posted by gloovins on October 16, 2003 at 18:48:01 PT

Canada and legalization possibilities
I grew up in suburban Detroit and as a teen, frequently crossed the border to Windsor to drink booze at 17 & 18 yrs old (after 18 I was in college, &, well, 'nuff said) b/c of Ontario's lwered to 19 yo drinking age. Quebec is 18 I was told the other day, anyway Canadians are a very independent, logical thinking Provinces of people I've come to believe. They know the US's appetite for hard drugs and how much larger it is here than in their country. Alot of those "meth bikers" Mounties talk are cruzin INTO Canada w/the nasty meth FROM the US. Now,   some are US citizens & some are Canadians -- the problem is shared, they know this, that's my point. However, when it comes to DEMAND, always, the USA comes out on top. Sad, but true. So, my point is Canadians, they know that Senate committee recommendation a cpl of yrs back & its bold (but def muffled in the US) statement of taxed regulated cannabis avail for sale for those 16 & up & I don't think it will be as ignored as most think, over time though. They know of the pending bill there for the 10 or 15 gram & under ticket scheme but the provinces differ so that its sorta morphed into a small states un-united under their own "federal" law. You'll recall how Marc Emory was hit with charges in some provinces and others they ignored him (& his crowds;) Ok well lastly, I think it'll probably pass (the 10/15 gram ticket scheme & that will be law in a year or so or less. One damn thing that is definite, they know how to party -- but they hate this: 
Universal Currency Converter Results 
Live mid-market rates as of 2003.10.17 01:33:31 GMT. 
 1.00 USDUnited States Dollars =  1.31820 Canada Dollars ooohh hey just remember what goes up must come down, most of the time, right? hey when did time begin? just wonderin'...c ya'lls 

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Comment #4 posted by mayan on October 16, 2003 at 18:19:46 PT

MMJ Program Fixed?
"By fixing the medical marijuana program, the court ruling made the pot possession laws constitutionally valid again. That ruling effectively sealed a legal loophole."...I wouldn't say "sealed". The laws in Ontario are still in limbo, imho. Regardless, perhaps sealed only until the next challenge or until the "Malmo-Levine/Clay/Caine" decision comes through. You can bet that the Moron,Asscrotch & Johnny Pee are bribing or threatening some Canadian judges as I type this. The mmj program is anything but fixed. Twigs,leaves,lead & arsenic? Doesn't sound fixed to me...or maybe it is all too "fixed"! If I was busted in Ontario today I would fight it tooth & nail. Time is on our side. Canada's decrim bill turning into crackdown - by Marc Emery's decrim deception: threat to pot-lovers' freedoms since prohibition: way out is the way in...9/11 panel issues first subpoena, to FAA: - Status of the Investigations: Sins of 9/11 Probe Continues To Bypass Executive Branch Testimony: panel weighs creation of new domestic intelligence, security agencies: DETAILS OF CRIMINAL INSIDER TRADING LEAD DIRECTLY INTO THE CIA's HIGHEST RANKS:
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Comment #3 posted by AlvinCool on October 16, 2003 at 16:07:52 PT

The same
We see it the same Virgil. August 1, 2001 to the middle of May was a gray area as far as the law was concerned. From the middle of May to now is crystal clear. That makes facts in that time frame concrete. I consider that the time from August to May as a ramp up to an announced legal period that can't be denied.
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on October 16, 2003 at 15:58:40 PT

You mean the big secret
The glory days for Ontario marijuana-smokers are overYou are probably referring to the period between May and a few days ago when the court legislated a dead law into a new and modified existance. I would really prefer about the big secret that existed from August 1, 2001 to the middle of May when the court announced that the cannabis laws had been dead for 21 months. Glad you are back on the job.I kind see things differently but no two people can think exactly alike. It just seems to me that you are confused.0That ruling effectively sealed a legal loophole.A hole in the loop suggest maybe the gate was down and they put it back up. I kind of think the fence was down and they put that back up and the gate is open. I sure would like to hear a real intellectual discussion that can arrive at the conclusion that it does not violate article 7 of the Charter of Rights. Of course there are a lot of things I would like explained and you seem to think the Big Secret is still on or like to confuse the issue.Maybe you meant well. Who can tell?
Satire- Rush sings "I'm a Nazi"
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Comment #1 posted by AlvinCool on October 16, 2003 at 15:13:37 PT

Have not written an LTE in awhile
"The glory days for Ontario marijuana-smokers are over, at least for now"I found your article to be straight and to the point concerning current cannabis law in Canada. Because of the logical way you announced these points I would ask if you might be interested in a new article. In the US, it is almost impossible to quote the truth when we are continually assaulted with cries of a higher crime rate, death rate and the steady defection of people to become stoners if any marijuana laws were changed in any way but harder time and more punishment. And of course we must remember the children, although I can't see how a major illegal market could possibly help. The question is could we have someone that has access to the facts concerning these items in Canada from the time people considered marijuana possession laws invalid to now, when they are certainly on the books and ready to be used by someone. I wonder. After all I didn't really hear of riots and massive waves of vile acts occurring at any rate other than normal.Yours respectfully
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