Those who have a legal right to possess medical marijuana are under attack from the department tasked to prosecute drug crimes in Canada and it is happening right here in Southern Ontario.
We have no idea why it is happening, perhaps and can only speculate as to how busy the Public Prosecutor’s may be when weed is legalized recreationally in July of 2018.
The facts of this case are very disturbing. See recent media coverage in the links below:
A Sarnia man (who is not our client) plead guilty to Driving While Impaired by Drugs. Now, this is a hard case to prove in a normal circumstance, but in this case, the man decided to forgo a trial and take responsibility by pleading guilty. The problem is, that he was apparently impaired by consuming legally prescribed medical marijuana.
In his guilty plea, he admitted to smoking his medical marijuana prior to driving. This is illegal if his medical marijuana has sufficient THC to cause impairment… and he was in fact, impaired.
Unfortunately, many people in the justice system do not know that “some” medical marijuana is CBD based and does not have THC… meaning it does not cause impairment.
We don’t know the type of medical marijuana in this particular case but thought this distinction was worth mentioning because many people in the justice system have no idea that CBD based medical marijuana treats pain and does not cause impairment.
The interesting angle to this case is that a separate prosecutorial office from the one dealing with the Impaired Charge; the Public Prosecutor, decided it was in the interests of justice to prosecute a further charge against this man for possesion of an illegal drug (his medical marijuana)
This is the first time this has happened so take a second to digest this, his legal medically prescribed medicine became an illegal drug because he was impaired by it and chose to drive.
The prosecutor told the judge he had no case law to support this, which begs the question why try to create new crimes.
We have the following concerns. If you are charged with driving while impaired by drugs and the prescribed drug is an opiate, legally prescribed; would you be charged like this man was in Sarnia?
The answer is a clear no.
So why are highly paid government prosecutors needlessly wasting taxpayers dollars on small cases that are archaic and only punish the sick and vulnerable?
A person’s legal right to possess medical marijuana is not canceled if he makes a bad decision and drives under its influence, he is prosecuted for the bad decision and left alone to his medicine. The act of driving while impaired by the medicine is the crime.
It is madness that the Public Prosecution Service would argue before a judge that someone’s possession of medical marijuana becomes illegal if he drives while under its influence.
If someone legally possesses a firearm and uses it carelessly he is charged with Careless Use of a Firearm, his firearm might get confiscated, but he is never charged with illegal possession of a firearm. His possession was legal; it was the use of the controlled item or substance that amounted to the offence.
The same principle applies in this case. The accused was convicted for the manner in which he was using his medical marijuana but that has nothing to do with his right to possess it. This case is driven by the stigma around marijuana and not by common sense.
Lawful possession is lawful possession.
The Public Prosecution Service is making work for themselves, perhaps because next July will see a decrease in the number of cases and jobs when marijuana becomes recreational.
In light of the recent opiate crisis that is facing us it seems rather backwards for the public prosecutions office to be focussing on medical marijuana.
What are your thoughts?
And please… if you are being persecuted for the use of legal medicine, call us and we will fight for your rights in the face pre-historic attitudes and prejudice.
519-657-1LAW or firstname.lastname@example.org