HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Government Appeals Marijuana Ruling
Pubdate: Wed, 19 Mar 2003
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada Web)
Copyright: 2003 CBC
Paula Taylor explains why the department will appeal
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


CHARLOTTETOWN - The federal justice department will appeal the ruling
of a P.E.I. provincial court judge. Justice Ralph Thompson stayed a
marijuana possession charge against a 19-year-old last Friday,
challenging the federal marijuana laws.

Thompson's decision was guided by a similar case in the Ontario Court
of appeal. A judge there threw out a possession charge, arguing
Canada's marijuana laws are unclear. The Ontario ruling gave MPs one
year to make changes, and when that didn't happen the court tossed out
the case.

Paula Taylor, a senior Crown attorney with the justice department,
said Tuesday the government has no choice but to appeal. "It's our
view that errors have been made. Any decision by any judge carries a
great deal of weight and must be shown respect, but it is not
disrespectful to appeal that decision when you're in disagreement with
it, and that's the approach that we're taking. This case was decided
by a provincial court judge, it's normal that it would be looked at
seriously by everyone. Fellow judges, those who are litigants, the

Taylor says her department is not concerned about what may happen to
the pot laws in the future, Canadians need to abide by the law as it
stands now. 
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