Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jun 2003
Source: Amherstburg Echo (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Amherstburg Echo
Author: Ron Giofu
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


It Will Be "Business As Usual" For The Most Part

AMHERSTBURG -- It's basically business as usual as it relates to marijuana 
in Amherstburg.

A May 16 court ruling is currently under appeal and the Ontario Association 
of Chiefs of Police (OACP) are attempting to secure clear direction from 
the federal justice ministry with regard to whether simple possession of 
marijuana is an offense or not.

"It's still going to be business as usual," said Amherstburg police chief 
Ray Marentette. "We're still going to be seizing marijuana as we always did."

Police are acting under a recommendation from the from the OACP that 
officers use discretion in situations that involve the simple possession of 
marijuana under 30 grams. Police are also recommended to investigate 
occurrences involving possession of marijuana under 30 grams and recommend 
they seize and process the marijuana according to established policies and 

The OACP further recommends that officers "not effect process, but instead 
document the incident with a view to possibly instituting a charge 
following clarification of the law".

"People are going to get arrested the same as before," said Marentette. 
"People are still going to lose their drugs."

In a release from the OACP, they believe it is not in the interest of 
public safety to provide "safe havens" from prosecution for simple 
possession of marijuana to exist within Canada. OACP said officers have 
been advised that enforcement of all controlled substance offenses other 
than simple possession of marijuana under 30 grams remain unaffected.

As for the federal government's proposed legislation which would 
decriminalize marijuana possession for 15 grams and under, Marentette is 
not in agreement.

"My personal feeling is the law is fine the way it is," said Marentette. He 
added that the OACP is also against decriminalization.

"We'll follow whatever law they change," he added. He said the Ministry of 
Public Safety and Security is waiting for the government to bring the law 

"In the meantime, it's business as usual. We'll just hold off laying the 
charge," said Marentette.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom