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CURRENT AFFAIRS - 2003

December 31, 2003

OLD YEAR ENDS WITH PROHIBITION-RELATED CORRUPTION

GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION

Police were looking specifically for information about illegal drugs when they raided the offices of the aides to two high-profile cabinet ministers at the B.C. legislature, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

[ Read More.... ]


December 23 2003

JUSTICE DENIED

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA RULES IT IS UP TO PARLIAMENT TO CHANGE THE LAW

Pot ban is constitutional, Supreme Court rules

The health risks of marijuana are "neither insignificant nor trivial," the Supreme Court of Canada said Tuesday, upholding laws against pot possession.

A 6-3 majority said marijuana is capable of altering a user's behaviour to a point where it "creates a potential harm to others when the user engages in driving, flying and other activities involving complex machinery."

[ Read more..... ]

[ Read Malmo-Levine, Cain decision..... ]

[ Read Clay decision..... ]

Under the criteria, parliament could arbitrarily ban anything.... mercy on us all!


December 17 2003

SANTA OR SCROOGE???

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
JUDGMENTS TO BE RENDERED IN APPEALS

OTTAWA, 17/12/03. THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT JUDGMENT
IN THE FOLLOWING APPEALS WILL BE DELIVERED AT 9:45 A.M. ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER
23, 2003.

  1. David Malmo-Levine v. Her Majesty the Queen (Crim.) (B.C.) (28026)
  2. Victor Eugene Caine v. Her Majesty the Queen (Crim.) (B.C.) (28148)
  3. Christopher James Clay v. Her Majesty the Queen (Crim.) (B.C.) (28189)
  4. Her Majesty the Queen v. Grant Wayne Krieger (Crim.) (Alta.) (29569)

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


December 16 2003

'Spiked' marijuana warning -
another health threat posed by prohibition

VANCOUVER - Surrey RCMP have issued a warning about the possibility of spiked marijuana following an incident last week that led to one smoker's hospitalization.

A 39-year-old man who has a Health Canada exemption to smoke pot bought some from an illegal dealer in North Surrey.

The man, who is a regular marijuana user, had an adverse reaction with severe chest pains, a rapid heart rate and a loss of his senses.

He thought he was having a heart attack.

The man told police that 18 pounds of this same batch is now being sold on the street, and that he fears for the safety of other purchasers.

The RCMP says marijuana laced with methamphetamine or crack cocaine has been found in Greater Vancouver.

They're currently testing the batch the man bought, to see if it falls into that category.

Canadian cannabis consumers should launch a class-action suit against the government for subjecting them to unnecessary health risks

For everyone's sake let's hope the Supreme Court will stop the reefer-madness.

December 9, 2003

FEDERAL GOV'T TO STAY 4,000 POT CASES

Ottawa Ottawa is making it a green Christmas for 4,000 people it plans to stay thousands of charges of pot possession as a result of legal battles over medicinal marijuana.

[ Read more... ]
December 8, 2003

HEALTH CANADA DEFIES COURT RULING - POT LEGAL AGAIN?

From HC Press Release:
However, the limitations on production of marihuana by designated growers have been maintained: Designated-person Production License holders can grow for only one holder of an Authorization to Possess; and, not more than three holders of licenses to produce can cultivate together. It was necessary to maintain these limitations to minimize the risk of diversion and to allow Canada to continue to meet its international obligations.

Read Press Releasse from Health Canada

Ontario Consumers For Safe Access To Recreational Cannabis:
We're happy to inform consumers that, because of Health Canada's failure to implement constitutional Medical Marijuana Access Regulations, wide-open marijuana legalization is back in Ontario!

For more information OCSARC website


December 8, 2003

POT ADVOCATE DENIED REFUGEE STATUS IN CANADA

VANCOUVER - A U.S. medical marijuana advocate who sought refugee status in Canada had his claim rejected Monday.

Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that Steve Kubby did not have a well-founded fear of being persecuted or tortured, or that there was any risk to his life, if he returned to his home state of California.

[ Read more... ]

Steve Kubby's website: kubby.com
November 12, 2003

It's official - C-38 is dead... will it be revived?.

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Jean Chrtien called an end to Parliament so any pieces of legislation such as the The Cannabis Reform Bill, will die with the end of the current parliamentary session.
October 30, 2003

Prohibiton Murders Another Victim: (Legal exemptee) Reverend Donald Appleby

A legal exemption can also be fatal to your health. Will a single bureacrat lose one moment of sleep over a preventable death if a sane, rational policy was in place?

"I believe that the Ontario Supreme Court did not intend for this to become a complicated process which it certainly has. If you and your government would have left us alone then we would have cared for our own sick and paid taxes besides. I wore a red tie to Toronto because I am a liberal some even call me a radical, like our former Prime Minister P.E.T. And just as he thought that Canada had no right in the bedrooms of Canadians, I feel that we have no right to regulate the sick and dying." Donald Appleby (before the most recent OCA decision) [ His story..]

No offence but as a legal ememptee i can't even afford to feed myself let alone have any extra money what so ever.Alcohol would be a luxury that i can not afford and as far as bud that too is a luxury that i can't afford.I'm having a very hard time because i play by their rules which means i don't sell drugs to anyone period and have no family to help me out i'm doing it all in mono format and don't know where to turn. Don appleby aids survivor and liscensed card carrier mmar grower
- posted by Don Appleby - Sep 20, 2003, 12:02 at the[ MedMar Forums.. ]


No details known, but on or about Monday, October 13, 2003, Donny was at his home in Ottawa. Donny had - as usual, run out of money, food and medicine (marijuana) and had asked some local growers for some shake. Donny's intention was to make oil to have SOMETHING to medicate with.

During the process an explosion occurred and Donny was severly injured with burns to over 60% of his body. On October 30, Donny passed away at 12:45 am.


From the Affidavit Of Donald Appleby:
6. It is bad enough that I now have to educate my doctor on the # of plants and their strength, I will not sit down with beauracrats from Ottawa and debate the science of growing. It is marijuana that has allowed me to endure some of the more toxic antiviral medications. It is marijuana that makes my life livable, without it I don't think that I would even be here today. When you have a terminal illness with no hope for the future everyday becomes a struggle. Marijuana has given me a new lease on life. I have no family or friends because you have made me into an outlaw. Continue to regulate my life and you will certainly give me reason to consider the alternative which is death. I am running out of time and I don't know how much longer I can continue to grow high quality marijuana.

Visit Reverend Donald Appleby's website

October 29, 2003

World trends continue toward reform:

United Kingdom - MPs today voted overwhelmingly to downgrade cannabis...scheduled to go ahead on January 29.

Possession of cannabis will no longer be an arrestable offence in most cases, although police will retain the power to arrest users in certain aggravated situations - such as when the drug is smoked outside schools.

Junior home office minister Caroline Flint said the change was part of an "honest and credible" strategy.

Ms Flint told MPs it was important to have an "honest discussion" with children about drugs.

"They can see for themselves the different effects of drugs, and therefore if we are not having honest discussion they will not listen," she said.

She went on: "The right strategy we must use is what works. We must be honest and credible and rely on science, not prejudice."

[ Read more...]

[ One U.S.A. reaction ]





October 20, 2003

Pot Prosecution ruled an "Abuse of Process".

In a decision dated October 6, 2003, that received no attention, Justice Bennett ruled:

Is there an abuse of process?

[25] But the analysis must go further in this case. My colleague Judge Stansfield wrote in Nicholls, the state of the law regarding simple possession of marihuana is a "mess". Justice Buchan in Clarke and my colleague Judge Palmer in R. (A.C.) wrote that the law is in a state of "flux". The question is this: how can an informed citizen know the state of the law when judges cannot agree amongst themselves; when it appears that possession of marihuana may be legal in some provinces and not in others; and when Parliament does not amend or re-enact invalid legislation? The answer is self-evident: he or she cannot. Therefore, even if I had found that the law was valid in this province and it was not an abuse of process to prosecute under it, I would still find an abuse of process in this case.

[26] Therefore, as this is in my view the "clearest of cases", I grant both of the applications for stays of proceedings.


M. Buller Bennett, P.C.J.

[ Read more...]



October 7, 2003

The Ontario Court of Appeals released their rulings this morning. Marijuana possession is once again a criminal offense in Canada.

Rather than strike down the MMAR in their entirety and declare that the marihuana prohibition contained in s. 4 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act continues to be of no force and effect, the court crafted a narrower remedy more specifically targeted to the constitutional shortcomings it had identified, striking down only the following specific provisions of the MMAR. In a judgment released today, a panel of the Court of Appeal, consisting of Justices David Doherty, Stephen Goudge and Janet Simmons unanimously dismissed the federal government's appeal of Justice Lederman's decision.

The court dismissed two additional related appeals brought by three individuals whose applications for constitutional declarations were also heard by Justice Lederman, holding that no further relief was warranted based on the evidence adduced in those applications.

Links to all the cases:

September 15, 2003

First Tokers of Health Canada Cannabis Call It Disgusting

OTTAWA ( CP ) - Some of the first patients to smoke Health Canada's government-approved marijuana say it's "disgusting" and want their money back.

[ Read more...]



September 4, 2003

Marijuana laws struck down in British Columbia

Westernmost province joins Ontario, PEI and Nova Scotia in ending prohibition

Disposition

[67] It follows therefore, that there is no offence known to law at this time for simple possession of marihuana. The application is allowed.

Judge Chen judgement: [ Read more...]

On September 4, Provincial Court Judge P Chen made a landmark ruling regarding marijuana laws in British Columbia. In his decision, Judge Chen said parts of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) are "invalid" and that "there is no offense known to law at this time for simple possession of marijuana" in the province.

[ Read more...]



August 27, 2003

Government Pot Distributed to Patients

A significant step? Considering only six people are expected to receive cannabis from their doctors and Health Canada is currently looking over another 14 more applications, it will be business as usual for most Canadians.

[ Read more ... ]

July 23, 2003

Health Canada releases manuals for patients and doctors

Health Canada will be distributing cannabis and seeds to legal exemptees as an interim measure to comply with court decisions until it's appeal is heard in the Ontario Court of Appeal on July 29-30.

July 12, 2003

B.C. woman on cross-country trek to raise cash for research into multiple sclerosis

Marijuana is an amazing treatment for the stabbing pain and spastic tremors caused by muscular sclerosis, says a 43-year-old woman who is walking across Canada to raise money and awareness.

[ Read more ... ]

July 10, 2003

Patients, Doctors, Caregivers and Advocates Denounce Interim Plan

Doctors: MDS Balk At Dispensing Marijuana
Patients and Advocates: Canadians for Safe Access Denounce Health Canada Interim Cannabis Distribution Plan as Unworkable

Protesters Slam Move To Sell Marijuana

'Too Little Too Late'

The message was "too little too late" yesterday as politicians, activists, and the ill converged on Parliament Hill just moments after Health Canada announced it would provide medical marijuana to eligible Canadians.

[ Read more... ]

July 9, 2003

Health Canada to Distribute Cannabis to Patients

...attempting to comply with court-imposed deadline to distribute cannabis, the government will implement an interim plan to distribute it's supply.

Info from Health Canada: Interim Policy for the Provision of Marihuana Seeds and Dried Marihuana Product for Medical Purposes in Canada

Giving A Graceless Okay To Medical Marijuana

Like a recalcitrant teenager ordered to do her homework or lose her TV privileges, Health Minister Anne McLellan has waited until the last possible moment to make medical marijuana available to Canadians, as directed by the courts. She and her department have dragged their feet in a number of ways over the past few years, trying to avoid this decision -- arguing that the medical benefits of marijuana are inconclusive and that the product delivered by a contractor didn't meet quality tests ( if only all dealers were so conscientious ). Now, they can delay no longer.

[ Countinues... ]

June 19, 2003

Health Canada suspends Canada's first cannabis HIV/AIDS study

"Health Canada has just cancelled funding of an important, groundbreaking research project," explained Derek Thaczuk, Chair of the CRIT Scientific Committee. "This about-face on its previous commitments has come at the very time the study was about to start enrolling, and at a time when Health Canada itself is proclaiming the need for well-conducted scientific studies of marijuana's health effects."

[More Info...]

June 17, 2003

RULING UPHELD - CANNABIS REMAINS LEGAL !!!

The Ontario Court of Appeal opened the door to a risk-free summer for most pot smokers yesterday by refusing to suspend a lower-court ruling that has thrown the law into disarray.

Government lawyers had asked the court to reinstate the law pending an appeal of a ruling that, in effect, there is no valid law against marijuana possession.

See: [ News Briefs...]

The legal implications are being downplayed and limited, but the status of cannabis falls exclusively under federal jurisidiction in Canada, so the ruling applies anywhere in the country. The ruling does not limit the legality to under 30 grams. See: Rogin Decision

June 6, 2003

CANNABIS POSSESSION LAWS GOING DOWN IN ONTARIO
MUCH BETTER THAN DECRIMINALIZATION !!!!

Federal government is asking Ontario's highest court to temporarily declare the law valid.

The stay application is to be addressed in the appeal court June 10.

[ Read More...]
---------------------------------------
Police advised to delay pot possession charges, but could be open to litigation by insisting on confiscating and harrasing citizens carrying a legal substance.

(CP) Police in Ontario are being advised to no longer lay charges for simple possession of marijuana under 30 grams until the law is clarified by either the courts or the federal government.

[ Read More...]

TORONTO POLICE NO LONGER LAYING CHARGES FOR SIMPLE POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

Due to this uncertain and unsatisfactory state of affairs, I have recommended that our officers exercise their discretion regarding situations which involve simple possession of marihuana. Police will continue to investigate and enforce the law regarding marihuana according to established procedures, but will not lay charges of simple possession. Rather they will seize the marihuana and fully document the incident with a view to laying a charge following clarification of the law by the Court of Appeal or Parliament.

[ Read Police Press Release...]

June 4, 2003

Federal U.S. cannabis laws "doomed"

As the U.S. administration tries to dictate what Canadian cannabis laws should look like, Americans revolt against the same dictates at home:

Ed Rosenthal walked out of federal court in San Francisco today a free man after the judge sentenced him to a single day in prison and then granted him credit for time served - the day and a half he was held after his arrest. Rosenthal also received a $1,000 fine and will be under court supervision for three years.

[ More info... ]

June 3, 2003

CANNABIS CASES ARE NO LONGER BEING PUT ON HOLD, BUT DISMISSED OUTRIGHT - FURTHER PROOF THAT THE LAWS ARE NON-EXISTENT.

22 CONSECUTIVE CASES OF MARIJUANA POSSESSION DISMISSED

All cases against cannabis should be dismissed across the country, but for now, it is still a sporadic event that depends on the judge and whether a lawyer is knowledgeable about the current legal status of cannabis.

The string of wide grins leaving Ontario Court No. 10 Monday afternoon hinted at the historic event inside as Justice Micheline Rawlins dismissed 22 consecutive cases of marijuana possession.

It was the largest wholesale dismissal of unrelated marijuana charges in the province since judges started tossing out cases of possession under 30 grams.

[ More info...]

May 29, 2003

CANNABIS LAW CHAOS CONTINUES:

Guilty, Not Guilty, Charges Stayed, Convicted - The outcome depends on where you live and how aware you and your lawyer are of the current legal limbo.

Pot Charges On Hold In 80 London Cases

A day after Ottawa introduced its new marijuana law, a lower court ruling on Canada's pot laws lit up the London courthouse yesterday -- with drug charges stayed against dozens of people.

"From a defence point of view, if you've got a person guilty of the offence, why plead him guilty to it when a court says it doesn't exist any more." Jack Hardy, president London Criminal Lawyers' Association

"...prosecutors "do still think there is a prohibition against using marijuana." Jim Leising, Justice Department official responsible for drug prosecutions in Ontario.

[ More info... ]

May 27, 2003

No intention' to legalize pot: Cauchon

OTTAWA - The federal government says it has a five-year plan to discourage people from smoking pot while planning to reduce the penalties for people getting caught with small amounts of it.

Cannabis Reform Bill (C-38) : More unconstitutional than CDSA Sec. 4 ? You be the Judge:

Provisions that WILL AFFECT THE AVERAGE CANADIAN cannabis consumer - whether they are healthy or ill:
  • Possession of between 15 grams and 30 grams of marijuana. A police officer would decide if the person should receive a ticket or issue a summons for a summary conviction. The ticket fine would be $300 for an adult and $200 for a youth. The summary conviction penalty would be up to six months imprisonment and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

  • an individual found growing one to three plants would face a summary conviction offence with a fine up to $5,000 and/or 12 months in jail;

  • four to 25 plants would constitute an offence punishable by up to $25,000 and/or18 months in jail on summary conviction or, if pursued by indictment, five years less a day imprisonment;

In addition, in cases involving more than three plants, a judge would have to provide reasons why imprisonment was not imposed where any of the following aggravating factors was found:
  • a risk of danger for children in the building where the operation exists;

More Info:

May 20, 2003

By the broadest definition, cannabis possession is legal in Canada. In the narrowest interpretation, prohibition of cannabis is alive and well but might be temporarily legal in Ontario. Where's reality? Everywhere in-between. What chaos, what a sham.

Various sources including the Rogin decision, newspapers, activists and legal experts create verbal chaos surrounding Canada's non-existant cannabis possession law. The confusion could take decades to sort out, but in the meantime, it is up to Canadians to ensure every victory is upheld.
[ Read More ... ]

Marc Emery talks to Lawyer Brian McCallister who brought the case through the courts. [ More Info ... ]


May 12, 2003

Compassion Club wants say in pot debate

MONTREAL - A group of medical marijuana activists is attacking Health Canada for failing to include them on an advisory committee studying the the plant's medicinal uses.

[ For more information ]

CBC - THE MARIJUANA DEBATE

May 6, 2003

From: "Press.Release."@Supreme.Court
Subject: Appeals heard / Appels entendus

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA - APPEALS HEARD

OTTAWA, 6/5/03. THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT THE FOLLOWING APPEALS WERE HEARD ON MAY 6, 2003.

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

COMMENTS/COMMENTAIRES: comments@scc-csc.gc.ca

1. DAVID MALMO-LEVINE v. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN (B.C.) (Criminal) (As of Right / By Leave) (28026)

RESERVED

2. VICTOR EUGENE CAINE v. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN (B.C.) (Criminal) (By Leave) (28148)

RESERVED

3. CHRISTOPHER JAMES CLAY v. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN (Ont.) (Criminal) (By Leave) (28189)

RESERVED

[ Read more... ]


May 2, 2003

Decriminalization Of Cannabis Undermines The Safety And Security Of Canadians

Canada, May 2, 2003 - As the new date for the Supreme Court constitutional challenge approaches, the federal government has attempted once again to sabotage this important appointment. In December the case was delayed due to government promises to change the laws within the first few months of the year. The court gave them the benefit of the doubt, after 30 years of unfulfilled promises.

[ More info...]

Also: Supreme Court of Canada - Agenda

March 30, 2003

Pot Charges Could Be Stayed Across Canada

OTTAWA ( CP ) - Criminal charges for possessing small amounts of pot could be put on hold in provinces across the country following court rulings in Ontario and P.E.I., says a prominent legal expert.

[ More info...]

March 19, 2003

Government Appeals Marijuana Ruling

CHARLOTTETOWN - The federal justice department will appeal the ruling of a P.E.I. provincial court judge. Justice Ralph Thompson stayed a marijuana possession charge against a 19-year-old last Friday, challenging the federal marijuana laws.


[ More info...]

March 14, 2003

SUMMERSIDE A provincial court judge has stayed a marijuana possession charge against P.E.I. resident Ronald Stavert, dealing another blow to Canada's pot laws.
"All residents of Canada, wherever they are situated, are entitled, in fairness, to expect a uniformity of approach from the Federal Crown, wherever it performs its prosecutional function. Until such time as the law is changed by Parliament, or the higher courts provide a ruling which will enable such an approach, this charge involving simple possession of marijuana will not proceed in this court."

[ Read judges decision...]

[ More info...]

March 13, 2003

TORONTO -- An Ontario Court of Appeal judge suggested yesterday the federal government has a "weak" case in its appeal of a Superior Court ruling that the medical marijuana regulations enacted by Health Canada are unconstitutional.

[ More info...]


March 5, 2003

In Vancouver, British Columbia, the first of four Americans will make his case to become political refugees in Canada. They say they face persecution in the United States because they smoke marijuana for medical purposes. A profile of medical marijuana expatriates from Cathy Duchamp of member station KUOW in Seattle.

[ More info...]


February 11, 2003

Health Canada moved yesterday to appeal an Ontario court decision from earlier this month that strikes down Ottawa's refusal to release a cache of pot grown in a Manitoba mine for medicinal use.

[ Read more....]


January 9, 2003

Ontario Man Aquitted of Impairment Charge

PEMBROKE, ONT. - An Ottawa Valley man who was pulled over while smoking a marijuana joint has been found not guilty of driving while impaired.

[ Read more....]
------------------------------------

Ontario Court Strikes Down Ottawa's Pot Laws

Unless Ottawa appeals the ruling or comes up with a new medical-marijuana regime within six months, that law will fall.

Toronto - A group of seriously ill people has won the first battle in an ongoing war with Ottawa over a scheme to permit the use of medical marijuana the patients say violates their constitutional rights.

An Ontario judge agreed Thursday that the federal government's Medical Marijuana Access Regulations are unconstitutional because they prevent more deserving people from exemption than they permit.

The ruling from Ontario's Superior Court is binding on lower courts, subject to an appeal, and will likely wreak further havoc on the laws in Canada that make possession of marijuana illegal, said lawyer Alan Young.

[Read more....]

January 3, 2003

Crown appeals Ontario marijuana ruling amid 'uncertainty' over drug law

The federal government is moving quickly to quell uncertainty over Canada's drug laws by appealing an Ontario Court ruling that threw out a marijuana charge on a technicality.

[Read more....]

January 2, 2003

Judge calls marijuana law invalid


WINDSOR, ONT. - A judge in Windsor, Ont., has ruled that Canada's law on possession of small amounts of marijuana is no longer valid.

[Read more....] [ Judges decision on-line...]




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