This forum is not purely dedicated to legal discourse. While I may attempt to 'raise the bar' with some pieces relating to law and being a criminal defense lawyer in Toronto, I also plan to use this blog as a medium to express my often critical thoughts on the daily grind that is life. Throw in some random videos and internet fodder, and the bar is sure to be lowered.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ticketing Marijuana Possession More in Line with Social Norms

Toronto criminal lawyer Kevin Hunter says the ticketing of the simple possession of marijuana is a long-needed step in the right direction and is more in line with Canada’s changing cultural norms than viewing it as a criminal offence.
“It is my hope that we are ultimately heading toward a regime which treats marijuana much like the regulation of alcohol,” he tells “Confining the possession of marijuana within certain limits with respect to age, locale, and use prohibition, much like that of alcohol, certainly accords with changing cultural norms.”
Hunter makes the comments as the Canadian Press reports that the head of Canada’s police chiefs says there have been talks over the past year with a number of government members about allowing police to hand out tickets to people caught with small amounts of marijuana.
Members of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in 2013 passed a resolution in favour of the option, says the article.
Association president, Vancouver Chief Const. Jim Chu, says there have been discussions over the past year but the decision is in the hands of government, says the wire service.
Hunter, associate at Edward H. Royle & Associates, notes that “it’s important to recognize that our top police officials are ready to accept that simple possession of marijuana is no longer culturally labeled as a true crime by a vast portion of the population.
“It is not insignificant that traditionally conservative groups, such as policing agencies, are finally prepared to acknowledge the futility in prosecuting simple possession en masse, even if their views are based on resource-based positions,” he says. “The time and money spent on enforcement, prosecution and even incarceration far exceed any social benefit that continued criminalization might bring about. We have seen a shift in the American example, even in light of the U.S. federal government’s long-standing, but ineffective, ‘war on drugs.’”
Hunter says issues will need to be resolved in Canada with respect to what specific amount will represent the cut-off line for treating the possession of marijuana as a “simple possession” vs. possession for other purposes such as trafficking.
“An arbitrarily selected cut-off line that’s too low would potentially render the ticketing regime impotent,” he says.
- See more at:

No comments:

Post a Comment