Cannabis Culture magazine has been pulled off the shelves of all stores in Timmins, Ontario, after local police threatened to lay charges if the magazines continued to be sold.
Constable Joe Romualdi of the Timmins Police Department has been threatening local store owners with criminal charges if they do not stop carrying Cannabis Culture and High Times magazines. The result of this has been that the local magazine distributor recalled the magazines from all stores in the area, and now both magazines are entirely unavailable in Timmons. Constable Romualdi has threatened distributors with further action if the magazines continue to be sold.
Cannabis Info is Legal
Constable Romualdi’s claims are false, and Cannabis Culture magazine is actually legal in Ontario.
It is true that Section 462.2 of Canada’s Criminal Code, passed into law in 1988, prohibits all “instruments or literature for illicit drug use”. It was this law which saw all pot grow books and High Times magazine (as well as all pipes and bongs) become unavailable in Canada.
Yet Section 462.2 was deemed unconstitutional by Ontario’s highest court in 1995. In a case involving NORML Canada, Judge Ellen MacDonald ruled that the ban on literature was unconstitutional. She ordered the words “or literature” to be severed from the law, because they were inconsistent with Canada’s Charter of Rights.
In her decision, Judge MacDonald wrote:
“Advocacy of illicit drug use may be inspired by humane considerations (medical use), by spiritual considerations (religious movements), by artistic considerations (novelists and fiction), or contrarily, it may be a distasteful message aimed at popularizing or glamorizing socially undesirable forms of activity. However, the silencing of even an undesirable message, through content-based criminalizations of written forms is, as pointed out J.A. Cory (Supreme Court):
“‘…it is difficult to imagine a more important guarantee of freedom to a democratic society than that of freedom of expression. A democracy cannot exist without the freedom to advocate new ideas and to put forward opinions about the functioning of public institutions… So long as comments made on matters of public interest are neither obscene nor criminal libel, citizens of a democratic country should not have to worry unduly about the framing of their expression of ideas…If these exchanges are stifled, democratic government itself is threatened.'”
After the decision, High Times magazine entered Canada through regular distribution channels for the first time in seven years. Books about marijuana reappeared in bookshelves and libraries, and Cannabis Culture magazine took off in Canada.
Cannabis Culture fights back
Cannabis Culture will not let this outrageous act of arbitrary censorship stand unchallenged. We are filing a motion against the Timmons Police Department, demanding that they cease and desist in their defamation and threats against our magazine. Also, Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery will be flying to Timmons, to sell Cannabis Culture magazine for $1 each, in front of the police station.
To read an article about this censorship from the Timmins Daily Press, go here.
We appreciate the support of our reading and websurfing public. Please take a moment to send an email or fax to the Timmins Daily Press, decrying the unlawful censorship taking place in their town.
Timmins Daily Press: [email protected]; tel 705-268-5050; fax 705-268-7373
Why not also call or email the Timmins Police Department and politely tell them what you think about their harassment of Cannabis Culture Magazine? Timmins Police Department: tel (705) 264-1201; [email protected]
The Mayor of Timmons, Victor Power, should also be contacted and encouraged not to persecute Cannabis Culture. Mayor Power: tel (705) 360-1306; [email protected]
For more on Section 462.2 of the Criminal Code, go here: www.cannabisculture.com/backissues/cc00/censorship.html
To read Judge Ellen MacDonald’s decision in the NORML Canada case, go here: insight.mcmaster.ca/org/efc/pages/law/court/Iorfida.v.MacIntyre.html