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October 2003
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Forget California, I’m Watching Ontario

I have to admit that I’ve had a hard time getting very excited or passionate about the California Governor’s recall election. Amused, yes. Involved, no. (other than the fact that just about all the contenders support medical marijuana).
So for me, the news I’ll be watching today is the expected decision from the Ontario Court of Appeals. This ruling could have a dramatic effect on the future developments regarding medical marijuana supply, as well as marijuana decriminalization/legalization plans in Canada.

The decision could effectively recriminalize marijuana or it could confirm that the law does not exist because of deficiencies in the medical program..

I’ll let you know when I hear anything.
Update: I may not be available to post when the decision is released, but you should be able to check yourself at this link. It’s expected that the decision will be posted there around 10:00 AM EDT.
Further Update: The decision has been released. It appears to be a fairly narrowly tailored decision. I’ve only been able to give it a cursory analysis, but here are the basics:

  • The court affirmed that there was, in fact, no valid prohibition against marijuana possession between July 9th and the present due to the government’s failure to properly provide a legal means of supply for medical marijuana.
  • Due to the present ruling, which makes certain requirements of the government regarding medical marijuana, the prohibition against possession of marijuana for recreational purposes is back in effect (as of today, I believe).
  • The government must allow medical marijuana providers (such as compassionate use clubs) to operate (although they may regulate them), including their ability to be compensated and provide marijuana for more than one patient.
  • Medical marijuana patients are not required to get a second specialist’s recommendation

So, to recap… Good news for medical marijuana patients, who will not be prosecuted, and who will have options for supply other than Health Canada’s junk. Bad news for recreational users whose 3 month vacation from prosecution is over.
Now we’ll have to see what the legislature decides to do regarding decriminalization.

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