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1 CN BC: Tougher Charges For Fentanyl Dealers Not The Answer: ExpertsThu, 19 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:117 Added:10/20/2017

Health and legal experts are urging caution about the idea of charging fentanyl dealers with manslaughter, saying such a move would do little to deter sellers and could instead punish those who are already struggling with substance-use disorders.

B.C. Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth mentioned the idea to reporters at an unrelated event last week, saying it was raised at a recent meeting of federal and provincial public safety ministers.

"We strongly believe that if you're dealing fentanyl, you're dealing death, and you should be facing much more severe penalties such as manslaughter charges," Mr. Farnworth said.

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2 CN NF: Editorial: Clock's TickingMon, 16 Oct 2017
Source:Gulf News, The (CN NF)          Area:Newfoundland Lines:74 Added:10/20/2017

It must have been a busy meeting. A couple of weeks ago, Canada's federal and provincial justice and public safety ministers met in Vancouver for two days of meetings. They talked about delays in the criminal system and reforms to the Criminal Code over mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. About changes to the bail system and simpler and faster court proceedings.

They talked about national security legislation and the safety of Canadians, about the legalization of marijuana and the nuances of home cultivation, and the health and safety effects of the drug, both on adults and the particular risks for young people. There was discussion about changing the rules on drunk driving to make it easier for police officers to require drivers to submit to breath testing, and on and on.

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3 CN NF: Editorial: Clock's TickingTue, 10 Oct 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF)          Area:Newfoundland Lines:75 Added:10/10/2017

It must have been a busy meeting. A couple of weeks ago, Canada's federal and provincial justice and public safety ministers met in Vancouver for two days of meetings. They talked about delays in the criminal system and reforms to the Criminal Code over mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. About changes to the bail system and simpler and faster court proceedings.

They talked about national security legislation and the safety of Canadians, about the legalization of marijuana and the nuances of home cultivation, and the health and safety effects of the drug, both on adults and the particular risks for young people.

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4CN ON: OPED: How To Heal The Scars Of Our War On DrugsFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Peirce, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/06/2017

The legalization of cannabis and rapid scale up of supervised-injection sites - as well as community-led initiatives, such as the site set up by Overdose Prevention Ottawa in Lowertown this month - have thrust Canada back into the limelight of global drug policy. Against the backdrop of a national overdose crisis and a fracturing of global consensus on drug prohibition, these are welcome changes. Yet they only begin to chip away at the drug policy challenges facing Canada.

Canada's policy community remains divided about how best to tackle the overdose crisis. As the death toll mounts, should we invest more in law and order approaches, treatment, harm reduction or some combination?

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5CN ON: OPED: Canada Should Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Spratt, Michael Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

Jailing addicts does nothing to stop substance abuse, says Michael Spratt.

Last week, Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, pledged Ottawa Public Health's support for "new evidence-based approaches" to combat the problems caused by illegal drugs including - wait for it - decriminalization.

City Coun. Mathieu Fleury said, "It's a crazy thought, but it's a crazy thought that might actually have some merit."

Fleury should be commended. Where Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had cast off the shackles of evidence-based thinking to stand against the city's first safe consumption site, Fleury's open mindedness is a breath of fresh air.

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6 CN MB: Defence Promises Appeal In Mandatory Sentencing CaseThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:May, Katie Area:Manitoba Lines:122 Added:08/01/2017

Judge 'troubled' but forced to lock up single mother of four children

PLANS to appeal a mandatory minimum sentence as unconstitutional are on the horizon for a Winnipeg mother who is now behind bars despite the judge's declaration that justice would not be served by locking her up.

Sandra Dignard, 37, was taken into custody Wednesday to start serving her two-year federal prison sentence for smuggling drugs into Stony Mountain prison five years ago. She tearfully said goodbye to her young son and pleaded with other relatives to take good care of all four of her children before sheriff's officers led her away, out of view of her family.

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7CN BC: Court Tosses Mandatory Sentencing LawMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

The B.C. Court of Appeal has struck down as cruel and unusual punishment the six-month mandatory jail sentence for growing between six and 200 marijuana plants for the purposes of trafficking.

The high court decision, which echoed previous rulings that denounced as unconstitutional other former Tory tough-on-crime provisions, underscored the new federal Liberal administration's tardiness in fulfilling promises to review such laws.

The decision pointed out that sea-changes in social attitudes, to which the Conservative government seemed oblivious, must be taken into account and "energize" Charter interpretations.

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8 CN MB: Judge Slams Law, Delays SentencingSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:May, Katie Area:Manitoba Lines:107 Added:05/24/2017

Gives mom convicted of drug smuggling time to arrange child care ahead of mandatory prison term

In a case that has raised questions about the effect of mandatory minimum sentences, a Manitoba judge has taken pity on a woman he convicted by agreeing to give her more freedom before he sends her to prison.

In a likely unprecedented move, Justice Sheldon Lanchbery reserved his decision and delayed the sentencing of 37-year-old Sandra Dignard by about two months. That will allow the mother of four time to make child-care arrangements before she is placed in custody. The judge said he has no choice but to sentence Dignard to two years in prison for drug trafficking, despite his belief she should not be locked up.

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9 Canada: Justice Minister Defends Proposed Maximum Penalty ForMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Curry, Bill Area:Canada Lines:92 Added:04/19/2017

A prison sentence of up to 14 years for providing cannabis to youth is shaping up as one of the early points of contention as the Liberal government prepares to defend its landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, makes clear in its opening passages that the main purpose of the legislation is to prevent young people from accessing cannabis.

Those opening statements are backed up with stiff penalties, including imprisonment for up to 14 years for providing marijuana to someone 17 or under.

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10 CN ON: Editorial: Big Challenges Still To Come For Cannabis LawFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:121 Added:04/16/2017

The true test of Justin Trudeau's commitment to his sound pot policy will be how his government handles the hurdles to come

By tabling legislation to overturn Canada's 94-year-old prohibition on pot, the Trudeau government has put forward its first truly bold bit of public policy. And it's a good one. The ban on marijuana has brought a great deal of misery, while delivering few benefits. Yet legalization is far from a fait accompli. The true test of Justin Trudeau's commitment to this policy will be how his government handles the hurdles to come.

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11 CN ON: Study Injects New Life Into Safe Needle Site DebateThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:12/30/2016

Heavy with needle users, London could move a step closer in February to a supervised injection site for drug-addicted residents amid renewed debate about the idea.

The results of a feasibility study that surveyed 200 current and former needle users, as well as police, politicians, and social service and health agency representatives, is to be released in early February, Christopher Mackie, the Middlesex-London medical officer of health, said Wednesday.

That study won't suggest a location or timeline to establish a site, but one area Conservative MP already is raising the alarm about the possibility.

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12 CN ON: Column: Libs Chip Away At Law And OrderWed, 05 Oct 2016
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Krayden, David Area:Ontario Lines:91 Added:10/06/2016

Ottawa achieved a dubious distinction over the weekend when the capital saw its 50th shooting of 2016. With a quarter of the year left to go, that beats the previous record of 49 set in 2014.

Now, I am not prepared to invite outrage and opprobrium from the left by suggesting that we might encapsulate the increased violence with the sobriquet of "welcome to Justin Trudeau's Canada." But it does suggest that while Canada enforces some of the toughest gun control legislation in the world, the criminals never have any difficulty in obtaining weapons.

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13 CN ON: Mandatory Minimum Sentences No Longer Seem To ExistWed, 07 Sep 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Mandel, Michele Area:Ontario Lines:103 Added:09/07/2016

There goes another Harper tough-on-crime law out the judicial window. Because, of course, we wouldn't want to be too hard on a woman farming 1,100 pot plants in the middle of a Jane St. highrise apartment building.

In a landmark ruling, an Ontario judge has struck down yet another of the former Conservative government's mandatory minimum sentences as unconstitutional, this time the two-year minimum jail term - with an extra year for endangering public safety - for growing more than 500 marijuana plants.

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14CN SN: Possible Pot Legalization Used As Argument Against JailWed, 01 Jun 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Spray, Hannah Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:06/02/2016

With changes to marijuana laws on the horizon, a former star athlete's lawyers argue that sending him to jail for marijuana trafficking would shock the community and violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Seamus John Neary, 25, was in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday for sentencing arguments after he was found guilty of trafficking 9.5 kilograms of marijuana. The crime does not carry a mandatory minimum, but federal law changes in 2012 removed the option of a conditional sentence order, or jail sentence served in the community, for trafficking more than three kilograms of pot.

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15CN SN: Pot Dealer Uses Legalization Promise To Argue AgainstWed, 01 Jun 2016
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Spray, Hannah Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:06/02/2016

With changes to marijuana laws on the horizon, a former star athlete's lawyers argue that sending him to jail for marijuana trafficking would shock the community and violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Seamus John Neary, 25, was in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday for sentencing arguments after he was found guilty of trafficking 9.5 kilograms of marijuana. The crime does not carry a mandatory minimum, but federal law changes in 2012 removed the option of a conditional sentence order, or jail sentence served in the community, for trafficking more than three kilograms of pot.

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16 CN BC: Column: Getting Blunt On The Legalization Of WeedFri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Boyd, Dale Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:04/25/2016

It's not easy being green, man.

However, thanks to a cheekily-timed announcement by Health Minister Jane Philpott on April 20, the international cannabis-infused counterculture holiday and coincidentally Hitler's birthday, it may be getting a bit easier.

Legislation to legalize weed is coming in 2017 Philpott promised at the UN headquarters in New York as part of a three-day special session tackling the world's drug problems.

And boy does the world have drug problems.

In a review of published studies Australian researchers determined that 200 million people, roughly one in 20, use illicit drugs including marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine and opioids.

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17 CN ON: Column: Blow To Mandatory MinimumsSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Gilbert, Jason Area:Ontario Lines:99 Added:04/20/2016

By striking down mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug trafficking offences Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada sent Parliament a clear message: Mandatory minimums that apply universally to all offenders, regardless of the circumstances, will not survive constitutional scrutiny.

The specific sentencing provision at issue in Joseph Ryan Lloyd's appeal was a section of Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that mandated a one-year minimum jail sentence for drug trafficking offences where the offender had been convicted of another trafficking offence within the previous 10 years.

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18 CN ON: Column: The Rulings Have Righted Historical WrongsTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Walkom, Thomas Area:Ontario Lines:112 Added:04/20/2016

Court Trashes Harper Laws

In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things.

First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.

Second, it has significantly expanded the number of Canadians eligible for full aboriginal status under the Constitution.

On Friday, the court unanimously swept aside provisions of the former Conservative government's Truth in Sentencing Act that limited a judge's ability to give credit for time served in pretrial detention.

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19 Canada: Tory Mandatory Minimums KilledSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Canada Lines:59 Added:04/20/2016

Supreme Court strikes down previous government's laws

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pre-trial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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20 Canada: Supreme Court Rules Against Tough-On-Crime LegislationSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:65 Added:04/20/2016

OTTAWA- The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pretrial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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21 CN ON: Column: Supreme Court Trashes Tough-on-crime LawsTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Walkom, Thomas Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:04/20/2016

In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things.

First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.

Second, it has significantly expanded the number of Canadians eligible for full aboriginal status under the Constitution.

On Friday, the court unanimously swept aside provisions of the former Conservative government's Truth in Sentencing Act that limited a judge's ability to give credit for time served in pretrial detention.

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22 Canada: Court Strikes Down Two LawsSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Sun Times, The (Owen Sound, CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:107 Added:04/20/2016

Supreme Court rules two tough-on-crime laws unconstitutional

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pre-trial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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23CN AB: Editorial: No Formula For JusticeTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2016

When it comes to Canada's criminal justice system, the popular political play in recent years has been to follow in the footsteps of our American neighbours and mimic their embrace of "tough on crime" laws with hard and fast rules for mandatory minimum punishments.

The election of Justin Trudeau's Liberal party served as one signal that Canadians may be ready to rethink the wide array of ironclad minimum sentences. That's a good thing in light of a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

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24 CN ON: Editorial: Scrap These LawsMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:04/19/2016

Supreme Court Tears Down Another Harper-Era Crime Law

Bit by bit, the Harper government's punitive and discriminatory "tough on crime" agenda is being dismantled. And not a moment too soon.

The Supreme Court of Canada tore another brick out of the wall on Friday when it struck down two Harper-era laws. One was a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for repeat drug offenders. The other prevented a person with a previous conviction from getting extra credit for time served in custody before trial.

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25 Canada: Editorial: No Longer MandatoryMon, 18 Apr 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:57 Added:04/19/2016

Two criminal-law decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada last week mark the end of a war between the judiciary and the federal government. The judiciary, not surprisingly, won.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has helped restore a balance in "credit" for accused people who are held in jail awaiting trial. The Conservative government, with one of its characteristically rhetorical names for laws, the Truth in Sentencing Act, set stringent limits on how much credit an accused person could earn for jail time before conviction. It seemed to be based on the idea of the more imprisonment, the better.

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26 CN ON: Column: Historic, Banner Week For Supreme CourtSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Walkom, Thomas Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:04/19/2016

In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things.

First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.

Second, it has significantly expanded the number of Canadians eligible for full aboriginal status under the Constitution.

On Friday, the court unanimously swept aside provisions of the former Conservative government's Truth in Sentencing Act that limited a judge's ability to give credit for time served in pretrial detention.

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27 CN AB: Column: Court Ruling Just Plain WrongSun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Gunter, Lorne Area:Alberta Lines:93 Added:04/19/2016

Striking Down Canada's Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentence Was Not Necessary

The Supreme Court got it wrong.

Not spectacularly wrong. After all, this is no longer the court of former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. During Lamer's tenure (1990 to 2000), the court frequently made up new laws and new rights out of thin air.

In one especially appalling decision - the 1999 Marshall case from Nova Scotia - the Lamer court so badly misinterpreted the history of the early Maritime treaties with First Peoples that it was forced to issue a formal correction of its ruling.

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28 CN AB: Column: Supreme Court Gets It Wrong On MandatorySun, 17 Apr 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Gunter, Lorne Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:04/19/2016

The Supreme Court got it wrong.

Not spectacularly wrong. After all, this is no longer the court of former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. During Lamer's tenure (1990 to 2000), the court frequently made up new laws and new rights out of thin air.

In one especially appalling decision - the 1999 Marshall case from Nova Scotia - the Lamer court so badly misinterpreted the history of the early Maritime treaties with First Peoples that it was forced to issue a formal correction of its ruling.

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29 CN AB: Editorial: Supreme Court Has No Agenda, So CharterSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:McCuaig, Alex Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:04/19/2016

On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court of Canada has made two significant decisions regarding the constitutionality of legislation passed by the federal Conservatives.

On Friday, the country's top court ruled that mandatory minimum sentencing for repeat offenders in drug offences and the denial of enhanced pretrial custodial credit for accused denied bail were unconstitutional.

It's fair to say these and other so-called tough on crime legislative measures didn't meet the requirements outlined in one of this nation's foundational documents which establishes the rights of Canadians.

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30 Canada: End May Be Near for Tories' Tough-On-Crime SentencesSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Fine, Sean Area:Canada Lines:100 Added:04/19/2016

The Supreme Court of Canada has sounded a death knell for mandatory minimum jail sentences passed by the former Conservative government, indirectly sending a message to the Liberal government to get on with the job of undoing Harper-era laws that put judges in a sentencing straitjacket.

In two separate rulings that stress the importance of judges' discretion, the court struck at the heart of former prime minister Stephen Harper's crime agenda.

In the first one, it said a mandatory minimum sentence of one year for drug traffickers who have a previous trafficking conviction is cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional.

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31 Canada: Court Strikes Down Two LawsSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Tribune, The (CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/17/2016

Supreme Court Rules Two Tough-On-Crime Laws Unconstitutional

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pre-trial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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32 Canada: Court Strikes Down Two LawsSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Packet & Times (CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:04/17/2016

Supreme Court Rules Two Tough-On-Crime Laws Unconstitutional

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pre-trial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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33 Canada: Mandatory Minimums KilledSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:58 Added:04/17/2016

Supreme Court Strikes Down Previous Tory Government Laws

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.

The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pre-trial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.

In both decisions, the top court said Parliament has the right to set laws to maintain public safety, but the rules should not be so overly broad that they capture offenders whose incarceration would benefit neither themselves nor the public.

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34 CN SN: Legalization And LiberalsThu, 14 Apr 2016
Source:Planet S (CN SN) Author:Beatty, Gregory Area:Saskatchewan Lines:237 Added:04/14/2016

Trudeau promised to make marijuana legal. Where's that at?

Instead of "Hump Day" on April 20, thousands of Canadians will celebrate "Hemp Day" through the annual 4/20 protest against pot prohibition. With the Trudeau Liberals committed to legalizing cannabis, spirits should be high.

But the fact remains that unless you're a licensed medical user, if you possess or share marijuana at the protest, you're breaking the law.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who's the government's point man on the file as parliamentary secretary to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, made that crystal clear in a recent CBC interview.

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35CN AB: Dana Larsen Charged For Giving Away Pot Seeds At RallyFri, 08 Apr 2016
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Ip, Stephanie Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/09/2016

Activist arrested at Calgary tour stop

Vancouver-based pot activist Dana Larsen vows to push ahead with his pro-legalization rallies and tour despite being arrested and charged in Calgary this week for distributing marijuana seeds.

"It's absolutely fuelling the fire," he said Thursday. "I'm getting more requests for seeds and have more people contacting me to donate seeds - so really, this kind of harassment just gets people worked up and gets way more media attention."

Larsen, 44, was arrested Wednesday evening in Calgary during the second stop of his cross-country OverGrow Canada tour.

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36Canada: OPED: Focus On Harm ReductionThu, 17 Mar 2016
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Pacey, Katrina Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:03/20/2016

The flurry of new initiatives introduced by the federal government signals a major philosophical shift on drug policy issues.

First, Health Minister Jane Philpott approved the Dr. Peter Centre's application to continue operating a supervised injection site in Vancouver, giving hope that similar sites in other parts of the country might also be welcomed by the government. Then, she visited Insite, Vancouver's other supervised injection facility, which she described as "having a huge impact on people" and "incredibly moving." That was closely followed by news that Health Canada would fast-track the process of changing the status of naloxone to a non-prescription drug, making it easier to access this lifesaving medication that's administered during overdoses.

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37 CN ON: Column: Decriminalize Marijuana Possession ASAPMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Parkin, Tom Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/08/2016

It's difficult to understand why our prime minister continues to let anyone be criminally charged and convicted for possession of marijuana - a substance he thinks should be legal. A substance he has smoked.

As we learned years ago, Trudeau smoked marijuana in the time since being elected MP. Some Conservatives tried to make a big deal of it. But most Canadians gave the story a pass.

Back then, Trudeau and the Liberals voted with the Conservatives to set mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession. It was a terrible decision. But it was a Liberal caucus decision. And Trudeau was not leader yet. So Trudeau can again get a pass.

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38 CN MB: Column: Decriminalize Marijuana Possession ASAPMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Parkin, Tom Area:Manitoba Lines:81 Added:03/08/2016

It's difficult to understand why our prime minister continues to let anyone be criminally charged and convicted for possession of marijuana - a substance he thinks should be legal. A substance he has smoked.

As we learned years ago, Trudeau smoked marijuana in the time since being elected MP. Some Conservatives tried to make a big deal of it. But most Canadians gave the story a pass.

Back then, Trudeau and the Liberals voted with the Conservatives to set mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession. It was a terrible decision. But it was a Liberal caucus decision. And Trudeau was not leader yet. So Trudeau can again get a pass.

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39 CN ON: Column: Decriminalize Marijuana Possession ASAPMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Parkin, Tom Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/08/2016

It's difficult to understand why our prime minister continues to let anyone be criminally charged and convicted for possession of marijuana - a substance he thinks should be legal. A substance he has smoked.

As we learned years ago, Trudeau smoked marijuana in the time since being elected MP. Some Conservatives tried to make a big deal of it. But most Canadians gave the story a pass.

Back then, Trudeau and the Liberals voted with the Conservatives to set mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession. It was a terrible decision. But it was a Liberal caucus decision. And Trudeau was not leader yet. So Trudeau can again get a pass.

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40 CN AB: Column: Decriminalize Marijuana Possession ASAPMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Parkin, Tom Area:Alberta Lines:81 Added:03/08/2016

It's difficult to understand why our prime minister continues to let anyone be criminally charged and convicted for possession of marijuana - a substance he thinks should be legal. A substance he has smoked.

As we learned years ago, Trudeau smoked marijuana in the time since being elected MP. Some Conservatives tried to make a big deal of it. But most Canadians gave the story a pass.

Back then, Trudeau and the Liberals voted with the Conservatives to set mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession. It was a terrible decision. But it was a Liberal caucus decision. And Trudeau was not leader yet. So Trudeau can again get a pass.

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41 CN AB: Column: Decriminalize Marijuana Possession ASAPMon, 07 Mar 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Parkin, Tom Area:Alberta Lines:81 Added:03/08/2016

It's difficult to understand why our prime minister continues to let anyone be criminally charged and convicted for possession of marijuana - a substance he thinks should be legal. A substance he has smoked.

As we learned years ago, Trudeau smoked marijuana in the time since being elected MP. Some Conservatives tried to make a big deal of it. But most Canadians gave the story a pass.

Back then, Trudeau and the Liberals voted with the Conservatives to set mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession. It was a terrible decision. But it was a Liberal caucus decision. And Trudeau was not leader yet. So Trudeau can again get a pass.

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42 Canada: Federal Prosecutors Maintain Hard Line On PotTue, 23 Feb 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Fine, Sean Area:Canada Lines:91 Added:02/24/2016

As Canada heads toward a new era of legal marijuana use, federal prosecutors are still trying to jail people who grow small amounts of cannabis in their home to sell to others, sending a tough-ondrugs message that some say is at odds with the new approach. And they continue to seek criminal records, and sometimes jail time, for people charged with simple possession of marijuana for their own use.

In a case in Victoria Harbour, Ont., the public prosecution service is seeking a six-month jail term for a man who grew 29 plants in his home, and who sold a small amount - one ounce a week - to his friends, what his lawyers refer to as "social trafficking." Stephen Morris is a single father and first-time offender, and he pleaded guilty. The prosecutor said in a legal filing he deserves six months in prison because he grew the plants in a room adjacent to one occupied by his teenage daughter. "It's a remarkable thing to have the government say they want to legalize and still want to put people in jail for minor infractions," Osgoode law professor Alan Young said.

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43 CN ON: OPED: Black Community Unfairly Targeted In War On DrugsWed, 20 Jan 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Love, Roger Area:Ontario Lines:99 Added:01/25/2016

The Supreme Court of Canada will soon decide the fate of the mandatory one-year jail sentence for trafficking certain drugs. The mandatory minimum has come under fire by civil liberty groups for constituting cruel and unusual punishment, arbitrary imprisonment and restricting security of the person contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case at issue concerns Ryan Joseph Lloyd, a drug addict in his mid-20s, who lived in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside. He was found in possession of less than 10 grams of three drugs, enough to be charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was eventually convicted and faced no less than 12 months in jail because he had a prior conviction for trafficking within the last 10 years. The British Columbia Court of Appeal sentenced him to 18 months. The appeal of this sentence has reached our top court, in part because it sparked debate over how our courts deal with markers of disadvantage, including addiction, poverty and race.

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44 CN ON: PUB LTE: Canada Needs Consistent Drug PolicyWed, 20 Jan 2016
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Sutton, Thomas Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:01/21/2016

This is in response to John R. Hunt's column The saddest or highest of times which appeared in the Jan. 9 Nugget.

To the editor:

In the column, John R. Hunt posed the question I'm sure many people are asking themselves: When pot becomes legal, will they try it?

As someone who "came down on the side of law and order to resist pot's temptations," It's clear the decision is not weighing very hard on Mr. Hunt's mind. But as he reflects on his 60 years of experience, he comes away with some questions that Canadians really ought to be asking themselves.

[continues 309 words]

45 CN BC: Repeal Mandatory Sentences: GroupsFri, 06 Nov 2015
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:11/07/2015

Action in Response to Eastside Man's 1-Year Sentence

A Vancouver man's fate hangs in the balance as two British Columbia groups urge the new Liberal government to repeal mandatory minimum sentences.

Joseph Lloyd, a Downtown Eastside resident, convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking after being arrested with less than 10 grams of drugs on him, was supposed to face a mandatory one-year jail term because of legislation enacted by the Conservative government in 2012.

However, a provincial court judge declined to impose the mandatory minimum sentence on Lloyd because it could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

[continues 188 words]

46 CN BC: Time To Take Reefer Madness Out Of Pot Discussion SaysThu, 29 Oct 2015
Source:Kimberley Daily Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Petryshen, Arne Area:British Columbia Lines:93 Added:11/01/2015

A local advocate for reforming cannabis laws was happy with the federal election outcome.

Tamara Cartwright-Poulits, the regional coordinator for NORML Women's Alliance of Canada, said she was elated by the election results and Trudeau getting elected. She said it is now a waiting game, though some want the changes to cannabis laws to happen immediately.

"We know it isn't going to happen that fast," Cartwright-Poulits said. "Until the fourth of November, when cabinet is actually set up and we know who the justice minister is and who the health minister is and who is going to handle the portfolio."

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47 CN BC: Change To Pot Laws Likely To Come Slowly, DespiteThu, 29 Oct 2015
Source:Cranbrook Daily Townsman (CN BC) Author:Petryshen, Arne Area:British Columbia Lines:93 Added:10/31/2015

A local advocate for reforming cannabis laws was happy with the federal election outcome.

Tamara Cartwright-Poulits, the regional coordinator for NORML Women's Alliance of Canada, said she was elated by the election results and Trudeau getting elected. She said it is now a waiting game, though some want the changes to cannabis laws to happen immediately.

"We know it isn't going to happen that fast," Cartwright-Poulits said. "Until the fourth of November, when cabinet is actually set up and we know who the justice minister is and who the health minister is and who is going to handle the portfolio."

[continues 517 words]

48CN BC: Column: Courts Shouldnat Make Up Facts To Kill Off New LawsWed, 28 Oct 2015
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Shanoff, Alan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/30/2015

Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment."

It's hard to argue against this principle. Nobody should be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Capital punishment, torture and floggings obviously fall under the category of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Any grossly disproportionate or outrageous sentence, or any sentence that would shock the conscious of the community, should also be considered cruel and unusual.

[continues 595 words]

49 CN MB: Trudeau Can't Help Pot GrowerWed, 28 Oct 2015
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:McIntyre, Mike Area:Manitoba Lines:56 Added:10/29/2015

A WINNIPEG man caught with a large marijuana grow operation in his home went to court Tuesday wondering if Justin Trudeau might be able to save him.

But defence lawyer Jay Prober had some bad news for his client - the prime minister-designate's promise to legalize pot in Canada wouldn't save him.

"My client asked about Mr. Trudeau just this morning and what was going to happen. I explained to him that it's still not going to be legal to grow 514 plants in your house," Prober told court with a chuckle.

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50 CN ON: Oped: A New Criminal Agenda For The LiberalsWed, 28 Oct 2015
Source:Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON) Author:Swarts, Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:10/29/2015

In many of my previous columns I have been highly critical of the Harper government's tough on crime legislation. Perhaps the country agreed with me by voting in a majority Liberal government for the next four years. This change hopefully will allow the Liberals to reverse much of the damage done to our justice system by the Conservative tough on crime policies. Here are five areas that I hope the Liberals will change or at least go back to our previous system.

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