Two weeks ago, a student in Sarnia was sentenced to a full year in prison after a police raid on his home last year netted 97 grams of cannabis, scales and $280 cash.
The student, James Munroe, had been convicted of selling small amounts of pot a few months previously. At trial, Munroe pled guilty, and the judge gave him the mandatory minimum sentence: a year in prison.
The judge, Justice Mark Hornblower, acknowledged that a full year behind bars without parole for only 97 grams was an “extremely harsh” sentence, but that he had no choice, because it was a “mandatory minimum” sentence.
But the judge was completely wrong. The mandatory minimums for selling cannabis only apply in cases with 3 kilos or more. What’s worse, neither of the lawyers working the case were aware of the law either.
It was only due to an article in the local paper being reposted on Facebook by a local lawyer, and then other lawyers noticing the error that this sentence got overturned!
Let’s be clear. If this case had not been covered in the local paper then James Munroe would have served a full year in prison for an offence which normally warrants around 30 days. (Even 30 days in prison is a ridiculously stiff sentence for selling small amounts of cannabis, but we’ll save that debate for another day.)
– Read the entire article at Huffington Post.