Some criminal trial judges are questioning why people continue to be prosecuted for simple possession of marijuana while the Liberal government moves to legalize the narcotic, the country’s most senior prosecutors told parliamentarians Thursday.
The House of Commons justice committee heard that one magistrate is even considering whether to continue with a simple-possession case before the court given the Liberal’s promise to turn pot consumption into a legal, regulated recreational activity.
In the meantime, the federal government is spending upwards of $4 million a year prosecuting those caught with small, personal stashes of the drug, the committee was told. Tens of millions more is spent on police, jail and court costs. In 2014 alone, 22,000 people were charged with marijuana-related crimes.
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