High Court To Rule on Minor Pot Possession

High Court To Rule on Minor Pot Possession
Posted by CN Staff on December 23, 2003 at 06:34:38 PT
By The News Staff
Source: CTV
The Supreme Court of Canada will rule today on whether simple possession of marijuana should be a crime as it rules on a trio of cases. The cases involve two marijuana activists and one man who was caught smoking pot. The three took their case to Canada's high court after failing to convince lower courts the pot law is unconstitutional.The case comes as the federal government prepares to reintroduce legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in small amounts. The bill died when Parliament shut down last month to usher in Prime Minister Paul Martin's government.
Martin signalled last week that he would reintroduce the bill, which would have made possession of less than 15 grams of pot a minor offence punishable by fines of between $100 to $400. The option of jail time and lasting records would have been eliminated.As well, large-scale growers and traffickers would have faced stiffer penalties.While the bill did not legalize pot, critics fear the legislation sends the wrong message about drug use to young people. They also question how police would assess those who drive while high.As for the people involved in the Supreme Court cases, the most colourful of the three is David Malmo-Levine. He took a hit of hash before arguing his case at the high court dressed in hemp clothing.Ahead of the ruling, Malmo-Levine said he is hoping the Supreme Court will drop the law off the books today. He said it's quite possible that "it would be legal to grow, deal and smoke mountain-size full of marijuana."He also denied there is any harm in marijuana as long as the dealer is responsible and can teach the difference between strains and quality, as well as the environment in which to smoke marijuana."Not only is it harmless when used properly, it's also quite useful," he told CTV's Canada AM. "People use it for stress, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, lack of motivation, lack of focus."A second case involves Christopher Clay. He used a government loan to start Hemp Nation in London, Ont., where he sold marijuana seeds and seedlings.The third case involves Victor Caine. He was arrested after lighting a joint in a van in a parking lot in White Rock, B.C.Source: CTV (Canada)Published: December 23, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. Website: newsonline Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Hazy Approach To Pot Law Court Set To Rule on Minor Pot Possession Ruling Expected Tuesday Court Will Rule Tuesday
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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on January 05, 2004 at 10:37:38 PT
maybe not so sad . . . if we can prove them wrong
A technicality that was brought up is described in my local (FL - Volusia) county laws:from: 1-4. Effect of repeal of ordinances.(a)The repeal or amendment of an ordinance shall not revive any ordinances in force before or at the time the ordinance repealed or amended took effect.(b)The repeal or amendment of any ordinance shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect, or any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal, for an offense committed under the ordinance repealed or amended.Can anyone please help me find the legal term that would describe this? I think there can be shown an historical precedent that a law, once repealed or thrown out, is no longer in effect. As such, it no longer exists and cannot be enforced, since judicial branch weighs the law, but only legislature enacts law, no? 
make drug war history
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on December 23, 2003 at 06:57:30 PT
Thanks for the poll! 64 to 36 now! 
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Comment #3 posted by erikghint on December 23, 2003 at 06:55:53 PT
We lost
This is a sad day.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 23, 2003 at 06:49:06 PT
News Article from The CBC
Top Court Set To Rule on Pot Laws Tue, 23 Dec 2003 Written by CBC News Online staff 
 OTTAWA - As Ottawa prepares to decriminalize possession of marijuana, the Supreme Court of Canada will rule Tuesday whether jailing someone with small amounts is a violation of the Constitution. Three B.C. marijuana users challenged sections of the narcotics act that makes possession a criminal offence. The three men  Chris Clay, Victor Caine and David Malmo-Levine  say that jailing someone for a harmless activity violates the Charter of Rights that guarantees life, liberty and security of the person. Lawyers argued that the government has no right to tell people what they can put in their bodies. "Before you can make something part of the criminal law, you really should have some objective evidence that the conduct is harmful," said Andrew Lokan, of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "There really shouldn't be a victimless crime." But lawyers for the federal government countered that the law should be upheld and that Parliament should set drug policy for the country. They challenged the assertion that the effects of marijuana are benign with a report that connects use to a number of problems including driving accidents, psychiatric disorders and drug addiction. Prime Minister Paul Martin said last week that the government will reintroduce a marijuana bill that died in November when Parliament was prorogued. The bill would decriminalize the activity, which means people caught with small amounts would face fines rather than prison. 
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Comment #1 posted by CorvallisEric on December 23, 2003 at 06:48:20 PT
Poll at CTV
Should simple possession of marijuana be decriminalized? 
Right now it's 63% yes 37% no
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