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Newshawk: Free Canadian Party
Pubdate: Sun, 27 Sep 2003
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Coast Reporter
Contact: ianeditor@dccnet.com
Website: http://www.coastreporter.net/
Author: Steve and Michele Kubby
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/kubby.htm (Kubby, Steve)


ARE CANADA'S MARIJUANA LAWS VALID?

Dear Editor,

As you have probably heard, a provincial court in B.C. has ruled that Section 4 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is invalid. Although not binding on other courts, this decision by Judge Chen follows numerous decisions in other provinces, all based on the Parker decision, which found that it violates the Charter of Rights to block the possession or cultivation of marijuana for personal medical use. As a result, there is genuine confusion regarding whether or not Canada's marijuana laws are valid or not.

In considering this matter, Judge Rogin in Ontario observed: "The overriding principle governing the interpretation of penal provisions is that ambiguity should be resolved in a manner most favourable to accused persons."

Here on the Sunshine Coast, polls show 90% support for medical marijuana, yet sick people are living in fear and are being subjected to raids, arrests and having their medicine seized. We know of several cases, where seriously ill people have been raided and had their electric meters seized, leaving them without heat or water, thereby endangering and traumatizing people who are already in a great deal of pain and suffering. Although these patients do not have Health Canada exemptions, they are still protected under a B.C. Supreme Court decision called "Heinrich." (See: http://www.johnconroy.com/heinrichs.pdf)

In our own case, we were raided, arrested and subjected to numerous court appearances that resulted in terrible health consequences, including pneumonia. However, once the police were made aware of the seriousness of Steve's medical condition, they let us know they were there to help us. As a result, we are genuinely grateful to the RCMP for the respect and protection that they have provided our family. In fact, having had a chance to get to know a few of the Sunshine Coast RCMP officers, we've been impressed with their level of commitment and concern for the community.

So, on the one hand, we see the terror and stress that medical cannabis patients are enduring and, on the other hand, we know the police are sincere and dedicated to doing the best job that they can. As a result, we have a situation where the people at the top need to step forward and do the right thing.

Therefore, we urgently and respectfully appeal to the judges, prosecutors, and RCMP of the Sunshine Coast to stop raiding, arresting and prosecuting sick people, especially when the law is so uncertain right now. Please allow anyone who makes a medical claim and can document that they are sick to keep their medicine and their plants, without being dragged through the criminal justice system.

Steve and Michele Kubby Sechelt

You can view Judge Chen's decision at: http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/judgments/pc/2003/03/p03%5F0328.htm



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