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Pot stays illegal in Canada after Appeal Court upholds medical marijuana laws


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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

Pot stays illegal in Canada after Appeal Court upholds medical marijuana laws

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TORONTO -- Canada's ban on marijuana was effectively upheld Friday when Ontario's top court struck down the country's laws related to medicinal pot much to the chagrin of activist groups.


In overturning a lower court ruling, the Court of Appeal ruled the trial judge had made numerous errors in striking down the country's medical pot laws. Among other things, the Appeal Court found the judge was wrong to interpret an earlier ruling as creating a constitutional right to use medical marijuana.


"Given that marijuana can medically benefit some individuals, a blanket criminal prohibition on its use is unconstitutional," the Appeal Court said.


"(However), this court did not hold that serious illness gives rise to an automatic right to use marijuana."
Currently, doctors are allowed to exempt patients from the ban on marijuana, but many physicians have refused to prescribe the drug on the grounds its benefits are not scientifically proven.


The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network called the decision a disappointing missed opportunity.
"Allowing the current regulations to stand unchanged will leave many people with serious health conditions without effective access to legal authorization to use cannabis as medicine," said Richard Elliott, executive director of the network.


"People shouldn't have to risk going to prison in order to get the medicine they need."


The ruling comes in the case of Matthew Mernagh, 37, of St. Catharines, Ont., who suffers from fibromyalgia, scoliosis, seizures and depression.


While he argues marijuana is the most effective treatment of his pain, he said he was unable to find a doctor to support his application for a medical marijuana licence.


Mernagh resorted to growing his own and was charged with producing the drug in April 2008.
In April 2011, Ontario Superior Court Justice Donald Taliano found that sick people cannot get access to medical marijuana through appropriate means. He said that forced ill people who should be able to get the drugs to resort to criminal acts.


Taliano struck down the laws prohibiting possession and production of cannabis as unconstitutional but the ruling was put on hold pending the federal government's appeal, which was heard last May.


The Appeal Court found Taliano had relied on "anecdotal evidence" and drew unfounded conclusions that the medicinal pot scheme made it almost impossible for patients to get legal access to the drug.


"The trial judge found that the 'vast majority' of those who needed medical marijuana were unable to get physicians to sign (exemption) declarations," the Appeal Court said.


"The record does not support the trial judge's inference that they failed to obtain medical declarations only because Canadian physicians are boycotting the (medicinal pot scheme)."


Osgoode Law Prof. Alan Young said the Appeal Court decision should not be seen as an endorsement of the medical marijuana program.


"They simply didn't feel the evidence was sufficient," Young said. "The case is important to show people that the program is still failing."


He noted the court started off in its judgment by noting this was the third time the Appeal Court was reviewing the medicinal pot scheme and the government was already making changes.


In December, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Ottawa would no longer grant medical marijuana licences to users, and only doctors would be able to prescribe pot.


In Friday's decision, the court said Mernagh had failed to provide evidence from a doctor that he met the criteria for a medical exemption to the country's pot ban.


"It was not open to the trial judge to hold that Mr. Mernagh and the patient witnesses who had not obtained medical declarations were entitled to exemptions," the Appeal Court said.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.c...0#ixzz2JgdhwBfm




Court upholds Canada's medical marijuana laws

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld medical marijuana provisions that require those with serious illnesses to obtain a physician’s approval before they can legally acquire cannabis to alleviate their pain. The 3-0 decision overturned a lower court decision that had earlier struck down the laws as being impractical and difficult to comply with.

The appellate judges ruled that the case under appeal had failed to establish that patients at the heart of the case were systematically unable to obtain medical marijuana.

“In the absence of admissible evidence as to whether they qualified for exemptions and the reasons for which their requests for declarations were rejected, this court cannot accept that the difficulties faced by these individuals render the entire Marijuana Medical Access Regulations regime unconstitutional,” it said.

The ruling was a major disappointment to civil libertarians and advocates for HIV-AIDS patients, who had argued that it is virtually impossible to obtain the medical approval the law demands.

“Allowing the current regulations to stand unchanged will leave many people with serious health conditions without effective access to legal authorization to use cannabis as medicine, and this means they are exposed to the risk of criminal prosecution,” said Richard Elliott, Executive Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

“People shouldn’t have to risk going to prison in order to get the medicine they need,” he said.
Medical marijuana has proved helpful in reducing appetite loss, nausea, anxiety and depression associated with some medical conditions.

Created in 2001, the regulatory scheme was intended to help those who need cannabis for medical purposes to avoid criminal prosecution for production or possession of the drug.

The litigant at the centre of the case, Matthew Mernagh, was charged in 2008 with producing marihuana illegally. At the outset of his trial, he applied for a declaration that the law violated his constitutional right to life, liberty and security.

Mr. Mernagh, who suffers from fibromyalgia, scoliosis, epilepsy and depression, claimed that he was unable to obtain a medical marijuana exemption because no physician was willing to sign his medical declaration.
His lawyer also argued that doctors have refused en masse to co-operate with the medical marijuana regime.
However, the court majority concluded today that Mr. Mernagh and several interveners in the case were unable to prove that access to the medical exemption scheme was illusory.

“Further, the evidence in this case fails to prove that the vast majority of physicians in Canada refuse to participate in the MMAR scheme,” the court majority said.

Mr. Elliott criticized the medical regime for leaving many of those afflicted with serious illness in limbo.
“In practice, the requirements of the regulations are often unworkable, meaning people suffering with serious health conditions are unable to overcome the hurdles currently in place,” he said in a release. “As a result, they are treated as criminals under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act , which makes it a crime to produce or possess cannabis without authorization.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/court-upholds-canadas-medical-marijuana-laws/article8113033/


Edited by key2thecup, 01 February 2013 - 02:54 PM.

Dr. Ron Paul 2016!


#2 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

Cue the potheads - "THIS IS BALONEY".

/=S=/


#3 Aladeen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

Cue the potheads - "THIS IS BALONEY".

Baloney dude? I so got the munchies, I could probably eat like a whole stack of baloney bro. Imagine all the baloney you could eat man, I wish it was like the governments responsibilty to ensure all citizens had like all the baloney they could possibly eat. Thats a world I want to live in man. That's the dream, a government that cares man. Instead of making us go to war they would all be like here have this baloney and peace be with you man. Then they could give everyone slurpees, damn I want a slurpee. I love mixing all the slurpee colours to make like a rainbow confectionary of slurpee flavors. But it sucks bro, cause always at the end it turns all brown and I generally live by the rule of not drinking brown liquids. There was this time I had like major pasties man after a smoking a big philly and the only water around was in a puddle and my friend said we should drink out of the puddle. So I scooped up some water but it was all muddy and it didn't even help my pasties at all. What the hell were we talking about again?
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#4 Wetcoaster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

Previous thread on this case:
http://forum.canucks...30#entry9591936
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#5 Mr.DirtyDangles

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Uh it is legal for those with a card .Other than that possession of up to 30 grams can lead to incarceration. Harper's new laws on pot are insane and Alberta has the toughest stance on possession. It will never be decriminalized because the crown makes way to much money off of these possession/distribution cases.

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#6 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Who the hell do humans think they are outlawing nature...and a beneficial medicinal herb at that. You guys are as ****ed up as we are on this issue.
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Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#7 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

Baloney dude? I so got the munchies, I could probably eat like a whole stack of baloney bro. Imagine all the baloney you could eat man, I wish it was like the governments responsibilty to ensure all citizens had like all the baloney they could possibly eat. Thats a world I want to live in man. That's the dream, a government that cares man. Instead of making us go to war they would all be like here have this baloney and peace be with you man. Then they could give everyone slurpees, damn I want a slurpee. I love mixing all the slurpee colours to make like a rainbow confectionary of slurpee flavors. But it sucks bro, cause always at the end it turns all brown and I generally live by the rule of not drinking brown liquids. There was this time I had like major pasties man after a smoking a big philly and the only water around was in a puddle and my friend said we should drink out of the puddle. So I scooped up some water but it was all muddy and it didn't even help my pasties at all. What the hell were we talking about again?


Can I buy some chronic from you? lol. that sounds like something mildly hallucinogenic. :P
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Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#8 Aladeen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

Can I buy some chronic from you? lol. that sounds like something mildly hallucinogenic. :P

if you ever come to victoria I hook you up ;)
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#9 Mr.DirtyDangles

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

http://laws.justice....38.8/index.html

Take a read and realize possession of 30 grams or less can land youin jail up to 6 months and a fine of 100 or both.


http://laws.justice....page-2.html#h-4

Edited by vanfan73, 01 February 2013 - 04:22 PM.

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As far as I am concerned, Juice is just "On loan" to the Ducks


#10 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

http://laws.justice....38.8/index.html

Take a read and realize possession of 30 grams or less can land youin jail up to 6 months and a fine of 100 or both.


Dude...an ounce or less? seriously? that SUCKS.
Posted Image

Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#11 Mr.DirtyDangles

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

Dude...an ounce or less? seriously? that SUCKS.


Serious bro read the schedule II section here you will puke

http://laws.justice....page-2.html#h-4


this is BC's stance on the matter

http://www.cba.org/b...iminal/201.aspx

Edited by vanfan73, 01 February 2013 - 04:24 PM.

No1813_comets2_rr.jpgDec2814_jake_rr.jpg

As far as I am concerned, Juice is just "On loan" to the Ducks





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