In Canada's Marijuana Debate Court Backs Penalties

In Canada's Marijuana Debate Court Backs Penalties
Posted by CN Staff on December 23, 2003 at 21:36:10 PT
By DeNeen L. Brown, WP Foreign Service
Source: Washington Post 
Toronto -- Canada's Supreme Court endorsed the enforcement of criminal penalties for smoking marijuana on Tuesday, but left open the possibility that Parliament could still decriminalize casual use of the drug at a later time.  "There is no free-standing constitutional right to smoke pot for recreational purposes," the court said in a 6-to-3 decision. The ruling comes as Canada's new prime minister, Paul Martin, prepares to reintroduce a bill by which people would not be jailed for possession of small amounts of marijuana, while penalties for large growers and traffickers would increase.
It is unclear when such a bill would be reintroduced after Parliament convenes in February. "The law is the law until it is changed," said Mario Lague, a spokesman for Martin. "Decriminalization is not legalization. It is not a nuance. We are not legalizing marijuana." In an interview on Monday, Martin said he supported a bill first introduced in May by his predecessor, Jean Chretien. "We are simply saying it doesn't make sense for a young person who is caught with a small quantity to have a record for life," Martin said. Under Chretien's proposal, possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana, about half an ounce, would be punishable by a fine of up to $290 for adults and $182 for minors. The proposal, which died when Chretien closed Parliament in November, was strongly criticized by the Bush administration, which said decriminalization of even small amounts of marijuana would encourage more drug use. John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, raised concerns that illegal drug imports from Canada would increase. "Some of the strongest and most dangerous marijuana" is being exported from Canada to the United States, Walters said in an interview earlier this year. Complete Title: In Canada's Marijuana Debate, Supreme Court Backs Criminal Penalties Snipped: Complete Article: Washington Post (DC)Author: DeNeen L. Brown, Washington Post Foreign ServicePublished: Wednesday, December 24, 2003; Page A10 Copyright: 2003 Washington Post Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Supreme Court Upholds Marijuana Ban End To Year of Pot Activism Highs Supreme Court Upholds Legal Ban on Pot
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Comment #3 posted by erikghint on December 24, 2003 at 00:26:29 PT
"Canada's Supreme Court endorsed the enforcement of criminal penalties for smoking marijuana on Tuesday"Thats a load of shit right there. The supreme court did not endorse anything. In fact they did say that jail time for simple possession was unsual punishment. However they said it is the government who must choose to change the laws as they see fit. I guess what that means is the canadian constitution is a bunch of lies. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 23, 2003 at 23:11:18 PT
News Article from The UK
I wanted to mention that Ron Bennett said it was ok to post this article. The url had -- -- in the title. That is a major mistake and thought some of you might want to check it out.****Cops Smash December 23, 2003 By Mike DarvillBritain's first suspected internet drug dealing ring has been smashed, it was revealed yesterday.The £½million business is thought to have sold cannabis across the UK.Customers used a secret password to access the site, which had pictures of drugs on offer. Orders were despatched by post.Three people were arrested, several bank accounts were frozen and the suspect website was shut down during a police operation yesterday. The arrests followed an eight-month investigation.The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit co-ordinated the operation with Hertfordshire and Sussex police. A 37-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman from Wheathampstead, Herts, and a Brighton man, aged 35, were held. All were bailed.Three computers were seized in raids at a home and a lock-up in Herts. It is not known if drugs were found.Police were alerted by banks which noticed huge volumes of transactions going through personal accounts.A spokesman for Hertfordshire police said: “We believe this is the first case of internet drug dealing in this country.“The team was surprised by the scale and organisation involved.“We are currently examining email addresses of customers and are looking into the possibility of making further arrests.”,,2-2003591400,00.html
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on December 23, 2003 at 22:08:06 PT
The grinches that ruined Christmas
The last paragraph is a quote from a telephone interview with Malmo-Lavine- "I think it is horrible," Malmo-Levine said. "I think it is the grinch that stole Christmas. Their hearts are two sizes too small. We gave them all the reasons in the world to have drug peace and drug freedom. They could have waited a couple of days and have the decency not to ruin our Christmas." 
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