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CURRENT AFFAIRS - 2002

See also: YEAR IN REVIEW 2002



December 13, 2002

SUPREME COURT DELAYS POT APPEAL

Ottawa's move toward decriminalization puts landmark appeal on backburner

OTTAWA -- Canada's highest court said it had no choice but to postpone a landmark case yesterday in light of the federal government's decision to introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

[Read more....]
[Supreme Court ruling online]
December 12, 2002

POLICY FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM:

WORKING TOGETHER TO REDEFINE
CANADA╣S DRUG STRATEGY

[FINAL] REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE
ON NON-MEDICAL USE OF DRUGS

December 2002

[Read more....]


December 9, 2002
Released today:

POLICY FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM:

WORKING TOGETHER TO REDEFINE
CANADA'S DRUG STRATEGY

INTERIM REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE
ON NON-MEDICAL USE OF DRUGS

[Read more....]


November 25, 2002

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA - AGENDA

OTTAWA, 25/11/02. THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ANNOUNCED TODAY THE LIST OF APPEALS THAT WILL BE HEARD IN DECEMBER 2002.

2002/12/13 David Malmo-Levine v. Her Majesty the Queen (B.C.) (Criminal) (As of Right / By Leave) (28026)
2002/12/13 Victor Eugene Caine v. Her Majesty the Queen (B.C.) (Criminal) (By Leave) (28148)
2002/12/13 Christopher James Clay v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.) (Criminal) (By Leave) (28189)


SOURCE: SUPREME COURT OF CANADA (613) 995-4330

NOTE: This agenda is subject to change. Hearings normally commence at 9:45 a.m. each day. Where there are two cases scheduled on a given day, the second case may be heard immediately after the first case, or at 2:00 p.m. Hearing dates and times should be confirmed with Registry staff at (613)á996-8666.

[ Read more...]

November 18, 2002

FLIN FLON POT TO ESCAPE FIERY FATE

Crop won't be burned, but used for testing and germinating, McLellan's office says

[Read more ....]


November 17, 2002

CROP UP IN SMOKE

OTTAWA -- The first batch of marijuana grown by a private company under a Health Canada contract was useless for clinical trials and had to be burned, Health Minister Anne McLellan said yesterday.

[Read more ....]


October 10, 2002

FIRST CLINICAL POT TRIAL TO USE U.S. STASH

OTTAWA -- Canada's first clinical study on the use of medicinal marijuana will use cannabis grown in the United States while a large, Canadian-grown stash of the drug sits on ice.

[Read more ....]

See: Canadian Studies and USA Cannabis


October 9, 2002

Canada's first marijuana study to begin

Toronto Researchers to Explore Effects of Smoked Cannabis in HIV/AIDS

TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - The Community Research Initiative of Toronto (CRIT) and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto announced today the start of the first Canadian study evaluating the therapeutic effects of smoked cannabis in HIV/AIDS. The study represents more than two years of development and planning with Health Canada, the scientific and HIV/AIDS communities.

[Read more ....]

October 3, 2002

Police withhold pot stolen from patient

KILLALOE - The Ontario Provincial Police is refusing to return marijuana plants to a cancer patient, even though the man has a federal permit.

Health Canada has told the police the man has a legal right to the pot plants. However, police say they haven't yet decided what to do with the drugs.

[Read more ....]  

September 4, 2002

Senate Committee recommends legalization of cannabis

NEWS RELEASE

The Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs Senate Committee recommends legalization of cannabis

OTTAWA, September 4, 2002 - The Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs today released its final report on cannabis. In an exhaustive and comprehensive two-year study of public policy related to marijuana, the Special Committee found that the drug should be legalized. The 600 plus page Senate report is a result of rigorous research, analysis and extensive public hearings in Ottawa and communities throughout Canada with experts and citizens.

"Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue▓, said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Chair of the Special Committee, in a news conference today in Ottawa. │Indeed, domestic and international experts and Canadians from every walk of life told us loud and clear that we should not be imposing criminal records on users or unduly prohibiting personal use of cannabis. At the same time, make no mistake, we are not endorsing cannabis use for recreational consumption. Whether or not an individual uses marijuana should be a personal choice that is not subject to criminal penalties. But we have come to the conclusion that, as a drug, it should be regulated by the State much as we do for wine and beer, hence our preference for legalization over decriminalization."

See: Highlights of the Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

See: Press Release

Final Report at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/Committee_SenRep.asp

Steaming video at: http://cpac.ca/index_e.asp

Press Conference at: http://drugpolicycentral.com/real/cmap/iddi.rm  


Aug 20, 2002

OTTAWA SHELVES MEDICINAL POT

Uneasy McLellan Backs Off Plan To Supply Patients With Federally Grown Marijuana

Canada's Health Minister has all but snuffed out the government's much-ballyhooed plans to supply marijuana as medicine.

Anne McLellan says that she feels uncomfortable with the idea of people smoking pot to relieve pain, and that Ottawa will not distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes until clinical trials are completed -- trials that have yet to begin.

[ Full Story... ]




 

Aug 9, 2002

U.S. AGENTS RUN ROUGHSHOD OVER OUR LAWS

If U.S. police are prepared to walk all over Canadian law, why is the federal government willing to allow more of them into the country?

[ Full Story... ]

Related: BC justice calls illegal US Drug Enforcement Administration activities in Canada an "abuse of process:"




July 15, 2002

Just days after Britain announced plans to soften its laws on possession of marijuana, officials with the office of Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said Canada might follow the British lead.

[ Full Story ...]




Major victories in the courts for the sick

Friday, July 05, 2002

"In the medicinal sense, the drug clearly has value, and this value probably outweighs the risks to the individual and the community.

An absolute discharge is appropriate in this case because he needs no rehabilitation, which is normally done through a conditional sentence or probation order.

There has been no harm done to victims or the community.

In fact, quite the contrary is true, according to the evidence,"
B.C. Provincial Court Judge Robert Higinbotham


See: MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE FREE AFTER GUILTY PLEA

In my judgment, it is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice to criminalize this accused ( Oates ) while he waits for a medically approved source of raw marijuana to be made legally available to him,"

Alberta Provincial Court Judge P.G.C. Ketchum


See: CHARGES STAYED FOR MAN EATING MEDICINAL POT




June 25, 2002



A B.C. Supreme Court Justice stayed drug charges against Wes Winchester. The Supreme Court recognized Winchester's personal medical use.

This historic decision is now available online




Canadians Fight Back!

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Canadian Press

NINE SICK CANADIANS PLAN TO SUE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR ACCESS TO MARIJUANA

KITCHENER, Ont. (CP) - Nine Canadians who are allowed to smoke marijuana for medical reasons plan to launch a civil lawsuit this week against the federal government in an effort to ease access to pot.

The lawsuit - to be announced at a news conference Thursday - will demand that Canadians who have legal exemptions to smoke pot be given access to experimental marijuana crops being grown by Health Canada in an abandoned mine shaft in Flin Flon, Man. In the lawsuit, Toronto lawyers Alan Young and Leora Shemesh will also ask judges to rule that existing pot laws are unconstitutional.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 18, 2002

CONTACT:
Steve Kubby -- 604-885-7651
Alex Stojicevic -- 604 662-8200

CANADIAN COURT RULES KUBBY NOT A FUGITIVE

VANCOUVER -- Former gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby was cleared on Friday of any violations of Canadian Immigration law. Canadian Federal Court Adjudicator D. Shaw Dyck found that Kubby had entered Canada legally. Adjudicator Dyck also ruled that because of alleged political persecution in the United States, Kubby was eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship as a U.N. Convention political refugee.

The refugee appeal process is expected to take at least a year and could take a lot longer, as has been the case with Renee Boje, who has been waiting several years for a final decision on her political refugee status.

[Read more...]




May 17, 2002

There is no longer any pretext that the U.S.A. is attempting to control Canadian drug policy:

If Canada does not halt what Washington perceives as a slide toward the legalization of drugs and act more vigorously to stamp out drug smuggling, the United States is prepared to retaliate by using the stick of tougher customs regulation, something which could have disastrous effects on Canada's U.S.-dependent economy.

"Canada is a sovereign country, but there are consequences when neighbours cannot co-operate on serious issues and this is a very serious issue," said Robert Maginnis, an advisor to White House drug czar John Walters. "It appears as if it's a trend going in the wrong direction and it is incumbent on the U.S. administration and the U.S. Congress to communicate that this is a key concern." National Post, May 17, 2002






May 10, 2002

DEA KIDNAP ATTEMPT ON KEN HAYES BACKFIRES:

Outraged by DEA Special Agent John Pickett's illegal attempt to kidnap Ken Hayes, a Canadian court grants relief to Hayes and Steve Tuck.

Pot TV News for May 10, 2002
http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-1318.html
Running Time: 25 min

Top Story: Tuck and Hayes Safe In Canada for A Year Or So. DEA Overplays Hand... Again. Attempt to Intimidate Hayes Family Backfires, Offends Canadians. Special Report to MarijuanaNews.com By Richard Cowan
http://marijuananews.com/news.php3?sid=510






May 9, 2002

Source: Canadian Press (Canada Wire)
Author: Louise Elliott, Canadian Press

OPPOSITION MPS PRESENT PETITION TO REINTRODUCE PRIVATE POT BILL

OTTAWA - More than 80 opposition MPs from three parties are calling for reintroduction of a private member's bill in the Commons after it was defeated by what they say was a dirty government trick.

Through a petition presented Thursday in the Commons, 81 Alliance, Bloc Quebecois and NDP members asked Commons Speaker Peter Milliken to revive Alliance MP Keith Martin's bill to decriminalize marijuana.Ê The Liberals set a dangerous precedent when they passed a motion to refer the bill to a committee without Martin's permission last month, NDP MP Bill Blaikie said Thursday. [ Read more...]





PRESS RELEASE

OTTAWA, May 2, 2002

The Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs today released a discussion paper outlining its findings to date on marijuana policy and setting out issues for consideration in public meetings to be held across Canada in the coming weeks.

The Committee will be holding public hearings with experts and introducing an innovative town hall meeting format designed to enhance public participation in policy discussions in six locations across Canada in May and June, 2002. Meetings are being scheduled for:


Regina, Sask. May 13
Richmond, B.C May 14
Montreal, Que. May 30
Mount Pearl, Nfld. June 3 & 4
Moncton, N.B. June 5
Windsor, Ont. June 6 & 7


"Our Committee has reached a stage in our deliberations where preliminary conclusions are becoming more apparent to us. For example scientific evidence seems to indicate that cannabis is not a gateway drug. It may be appropriate to treat it more like alcohol or tobacco than like the harder drugs," said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Special Committee Chair. "We now need to add the views of Canadians to expert testimony and evidence we've received to date to see where we should go from here. In fact we're trying out some non-traditional approaches such as this interim discussion paper and town hall meetings to establish a more effective dialogue with Canadians." Details will be provided in advance of each meeting in each community. Further Special Committee hearings will also take place in Ottawa later in June before the Committee writes its report.

The Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs is responsible for openly and objectively reviewing Canada's anti-drug legislation and policies on cannabis and is scheduled to present its report to the Senate in August 2002. In particular, the Special Committee is examining Canada's current policies and international obligations, as well as strategies adopted by other countries. The Committee on Illegal Drugs is chaired by Senator Pierre Claude Nolin with Senator Colin Kenny as deputy-chair. Also serving on the Committee are Senators Tommy Banks, Shirley Maheu and Eileen Rossiter. The Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs maintains an Internet web site at www.parl.gc.ca/illegal-drugs.asp.






Thursday April 18, 2002

On March 15 Mr. Justice Pitt extended the constitutional exemption granted to Terry Parker by the Ontario Court of Appeal until such time as the government has complied with the court's ruling. Today that Order has been set aside by Justice Sandra Chapnik.

Terry is open once again to being arrested for using medical cannabis.

See: Justice Chapnik's decision




Wednesday April 17 2002

OTTAWA - Canadian Alliance MP Keith Martin's private member's bill calling for the decriminalization of marijuana was effectively defeated by a Liberal amendment this evening.




Tuesday April 9, 2002

Terry Parker filed his counter-motion for remedy A, a declaration that the prohibition of marijuana in the CDSA is of no force and effect because the new Marijuana Medical Access Regulations are too hard to comply with the ruling of the court.

Wednesday April 17 2002
Superior Court of Justice
393 University Ave
Toronto
10am.
Biggest case in Canadian medpot history.

See: http://www.medpot.net/tpdocs.htm


Sat, 02 Mar 2002

Silence greets invitation to appeal drug convictions - Narcotics tests flawed

When Health Canada discovered that one of its drug testers had botched the analysis of contraband in more than 200 narcotics cases, officials braced for a flood of appeals and re-trials.

But months after the department advertised the flawed tests across Canada, not a single person affected by the affair has launched an appeal of their possibly tainted conviction, stunning the government and defence lawyers.

[ Read more ... ]


February 18, 2002

The House resumed from November 7, 2001 consideration of the motion that Bill C-344, an act to amend the Contraventions Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marijuana), be read the second time and referred to a committee. [ Debate on-line ]



NEWS RELEASE - COMMUNIQUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 February 2002

Liberal Government Blocks Marijuana Legislation

Ottawa: Dr. Keith Martin, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca and sponsor of Bill C-344, An Act to Amend the Controlled Substances and Contraventions Act (marihuana), is disappointed by the underhanded tactics used today during debate on marijuana to undermine and cut off Parliament's review of Canada's current marijuana possession laws.

Liberal backbencher John Maloney delivered today's government speech on Bill C-344 and proposed an amendment to the Bill, which effectively kills it:

"That Bill C-344, an Act to amend the Contraventions Act and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marihuana), be not now read a second time, that the order for a sector meeting be discharged, the Bill withdrawn from the Order Paper and the subject matter be referred to the Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs" he moved today in the House of Commons

Dr. Martin replied to this unusual Motion by saying: "Sadly, instead of making amendments to enhance Bill C-344, what the government has done is cut off debate on the issue of reforming marijuana possession laws. Canadians, the Chiefs of Police, the RCMP, the Canadian Medical Association, the Bar Association and many Members of Parliament from all Parties, including Liberal backbenchers, support this initiative. If the government truly believes in Parliament and the democratic process they would allow the House of Commons the opportunity to debate Bill C-344."

Bill C-344 calls for the decriminalization of the simple possession of marijuana. It would introduce a fine system that would prevent youths attaining a criminal record while punishing the traffickers and dealers of illicit drugs.

- 30 -


Dr. Keith Martin, M.D., M.P.
Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca
(613) 996-2625
(250) 474-6505
www.keithmartin.org




Link:
Government debate on C-344


January 31, 2002

The war on domestic cannabis and cannabis consumers heats up.

"Operation Green Sweep" - The modern day tale of a medieval inquisition.




January, 15, 2002

In a Cabinet shuffle in the House of Commons today, Anne McLellan becomes the new Minister of Health, responsible for the Office of Cannabis Medical Access. The new Justice Minister is Martin Cauchon and former Health Minister Allan Rock moves to the portfolio of Industry.




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