Toronto Mike

Supreme Court Ruling

Decriminalizing Pot

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that Parliament has the constitutional right to criminalize marijuana possession.  Of course, decriminalizing small amounts of pot is well within the rights of Parliament as well.

Prime Minister Paul Martin says he will reintroduce a bill proposed by Jean Chretien that would wipe out criminal penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana. The proposed bill will make possession of less than 15 grams of pot a minor offence punishable by fines of $100 to $400.

I don't indulge in the habit of marijuana smoking, but I believe we should decriminalize it.  They estimate about 100,000 Canadians use the drug daily, but I suspect the true number is "high"er.  It's a victimless act and typically the worst result is a case of bronchitis, unless the user is pregnant or schizophrenic.  Somebody carrying around a criminal record because they got caught with a joint is wrong.  As Mr. Justice Ian Binnie said today, "It is open to Parliament to decriminalize or otherwise modify any aspect of the marijuana laws that it no longer considers to be good public policy."  Mr. Martin, the ball is in your court.

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