Judge rules Canada's pot possession laws unconstitutional

By Bajeda · Jul 14, 2007 · ·
  1. Bajeda
    Judge rules Canada's pot possession laws unconstitutional

    A Toronto judge has ruled that Canada's pot possession laws are unconstitutional after a man argued the country's medicinal marijuana regulations are flawed.

    The 29-year-old Toronto resident had been charged with possession of about 3.5 grams or roughly $45 dollars worth of marijuana.

    The man has no medical issues and doesn't want a medical exemption to smoke marijuana. In 2001, Health Canada implemented the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, which allow access to marijuana to people who are suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses.

    In court, the man argued that the federal government only made it policy to provide marijuana to those who need it, but never made it an actual law. Because of that, he argued, all possession laws, whether medicinal or not, should be quashed.

    The judge agreed and dismissed the charges.

    "The government told the public not to worry about access to marijuana," said Judge Howard Borenstein. "They have a policy but not law.… In my view that is unconstitutional."

    Defence lawyer Brian McAllister, who represented the man, said the ramifications of the ruling have potential to be "pretty big."

    "Obviously, there's thousands of people that get charged with this offence every year," he said.

    McAllister said Ontario residents charged with possessing marijuana now have a new defence.

    "That's probably why the government will likely appeal the decision," he said.

    Borenstein has given prosecutors two weeks before he makes his ruling official. Prosecutors told CBC News they want a speedy appeal to overturn the decision.

    "For the time being, nothing changes," Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said about how the force deals with marijuana possession. "We have to wait and see what happens with the process through the courts."


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  1. Beanfondler
    Canada becomes more and more sexually appealing everyday. Swim just has to blow through another year of college and hopefully he'll make the transition. I would think that the ruling will promptly be overturned, but Canada already kicks the shit out of the US as far as I can tell so far.
  2. grandbaby
    Come on board. We welcome all refugees from Fascist AmeriKKKa. :)
  3. skunk123454321
    that was definitly Ice Cubes best album, and forget about steven harper hes a big tool
  4. Heretic.Ape.
    Experts urge Ottawa to fix pot laws as courts face increase in caseload
    http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/mercury/front;tile=3;sz=300x250;ord=[timestamp]? TORONTO (Jul 18, 2007)
    Ottawa needs to fix long-standing loopholes in Canada's marijuana laws to help the justice system contend with a surge of court cases resulting from the Conservative government's new zeal for enforcement, legal experts say.
    With a dramatic increase in the number of possession cases, those familiar with the intricacies of the law say it remains vulnerable to the argument that Canada's medicinal marijuana program renders it unconstitutional.
    Four years after Ottawa supposedly closed off a complex legal loophole that effectively rendered the law unenforceable, an Ontario Court judge agreed Friday the law governing pot possession in Canada was unconstitutional.
    The Liberal government's decision in 2003 to allow eligible patients access to marijuana for medicinal reasons was made by an informal policy statement and never changed the existing statutes or regulations, lawyer Bryan McAllister argued.
    "It is a departmental policy that can be changed at whim, or even ignored,'' McAllister said in an interview. "An aggrieved party cannot go to court to seek enforcement of a government policy.''
    Without a clause that makes an exception for medicinal marijuana users, "the policy is not enshrined in law, it has no value, and the law as it stands is unconstitutional,'' McAllister said.

  5. Beeker
    It's just to damn cold up there. I like the sub-tropical zone and my year round mushroom hunting.
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