Newsbrief: Canadian Supreme Court to Rule Next Week on Key Marijuana Cases 12/19/03

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Will it be a jolly green Christmas or a stocking full of ashes? Canadian cannabis consumers and advocates will find out on Tuesday, when the Canadian Supreme Court will announce its ruling in a trio of cases that have the potential to nullify the country's laws against marijuana possession. In an announcement sent out on its e-mail list, the court said it would rule on the cases at 9:45am on December 23.

The appellants in all three cases, David Malmo-Levine, Victor Caine and Christopher Clay, were all found guilty of marijuana possession offenses. All three appealed their convictions, arguing the Canadian Charter of Rights prohibits the government from creating criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

In recent years, Canadian marijuana policy has been in severe flux, with some Canadian courts briefly legalizing marijuana possession because of the government's failure to act to make medical marijuana available to patients. The government of recently retired former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, meanwhile, proceeded with a bill that would have decriminalized marijuana possession, but increased penalties for all but the smallest grow ops. That bill died when Chretien adjourned parliament last month, but as DRCNet reported last week, new Prime Minister Paul Martin has indicated he will reintroduce the bill.

But all of that could be rendered moot by a favorable Supreme Court decision Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Visit http://www.cannabislink.ca/legal/index.htm#affidavits for affidavits, filings and decisions in the trio of cases.

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