Meet the Lawyer who has been getting pot cases dissmissedMarc tells us about upcoming events such as the Drug War Vigil Video Contest, the May 3rd Marijuana March, the Toker’s Bowl and more, then talks to Ontario Lawyer Brian McCallister who has been challenging the validity of the Canadian Cannabis Laws.
Judge rules marijuana law invalid
WINDSOR, ONT. – Canada’s law on possession of small amounts of marijuana is no longer valid, an Ontario judge ruled Thursday.
Windsor Justice Douglas Phillips made the decision as he dismissed two drug charges against a 16-year-old local boy.
Parliament has failed to address problems with Canada’s marijuana laws, Phillips said in his ruling.
In July 2000, the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down a federal law prohibiting the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana. It said the legislation violated the rights of sick people who use pot for medical reasons. The case centred on a Toronto epileptic, Terry Parker, who uses cannabis to ease his condition.
The court gave Ottawa a year to come up with a new law on marijuana possession for medicinal purposes.
The federal government responded with the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, which went into effect July 31 of last year. The new rules allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons, but they don’t address the issue of recreational use.
The teen’s lawyer, Brian McAllister, argued there is effectively no law in Canada prohibiting the possession of 30 grams of marijuana or less. His client was accused of possessing five grams of pot.
“I think it’s also satisfying to know that this particular law has been declared invalid, particularly given how burdensome it is in terms of criminalizing the behaviour that hundreds of thousands of Canadians engage in,” he said.
Last year, federal Justice Minister Martin Couchon said the government is considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Written by CBC News Online staff