Thousands of Canadians charged with marijuana possession are off the hook. The federal Justice Department is backing away from prosecuting 4,000 fines related to pot possession, as a result of legal battles over medicinal marijuana. Those cleared include anyone arrested between July 2001, and October of this year, Justice Department spokeswoman Pascale Boulay says. The decision to stay the charges falls into line with an Ontario court ruling three years ago. It effectively invalidated the possession law because it did not provide an exemption for medicinal use.