Pubdate: Sat, 05 Aug 2000
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000 The Toronto Star
Contact:  One Yonge St., Toronto ON, M5E 1E6
Fax: (416) 869-4322
Author: Aurora G. Agustin


The Ontario Court of Appeal has declared unconstitutional the law making it 
a crime to possess marijuana in Canada.

The court has given Parliament a year to rewrite the appropriate sections 
of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to include clearer medical 
exemptions from prosecution.

Pending revision, the law remains in full effect.

As a layperson, I fail to understand the full import of the decision.

Does it mean the state will continue to enforce an unconstitutional law for 
another year?

If so, how can the government implement a law which has no basis in the 
Constitution and, in fact, appears to run counter to it?

I always thought an unconstitutional law, once declared as such by a 
competent court, automatically ceases to be valid after the period for appeal.

Aurora G. Agustin, Toronto
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