Pubdate: Sun, 16 Mar 2003
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Contact:  2003 The Calgary Sun
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. -- A Prince Edward Island judge stayed a teen's marijuana
possession charge, ruling it would be unfair to prosecute him when other
Canadians have immunity from the same charge. 

Provincial Court Judge Ralph C. Thompson stayed proceedings against the
19-year-old on Friday after considering cases in Ontario. 

The teen was charged with possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana in the

Defence lawyer Clifford McCabe argued in a previous hearing the charge
should be quashed because it's not a valid offence based on the Ontario

In his 11-page decision, the judge explained an Ontario Court of Appeal
ruling, known as the Parker decision, effectively struck down the law that
prohibits simple possession. 

In July 2000, that court said the possession of marijuana charge under the
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act violated the rights of Terry Parker of
Toronto, by preventing him from legally accessing marijuana for medicinal
reasons. The court gave Parliament a year to revamp its laws. 

In January, an Ontario court threw out marijuana possession charges against
a 16-year-old on the basis Ottawa had not effectively dealt with the Parker

Since lower Ontario courts are bound by the Parker decision, Judge Thompson
pointed out 12-million Ontarians have immunity from prosecution for simple
marijuana possession -- at least for the time being.
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