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Constitutional Challenge Delayed Indefinately

By Ted | May 13, 2002

Victoria, B.C.: One day before reappearing in front of the Senate
Committee on Illegal Drugs, cannabis advocate Ted Smith has seen his
constitutional challenge to the law delayed indefinitely. Originally
scheduled for June 3, the much-anticipated Charter of Rights and Freedoms
arguments will not be heard until the Supreme Court of Canada makes a
decision regarding the Caine; Clay; Malmo-Levine case, probably next spring.

Tomorrow in Richmond, the general public will get one final chance to
submit information to the Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs before it
completes it’s report, expected in August. Proponents of harm reduction
policies have been very encouraged by the enlightening statements being made
by Senators and in the report. However, many are skeptical about how
influential this committee will be over the stubborn Prime Minister. As head
consultant for Victoria’s Hempology 101 Society, Ted will outline his
ideas concerning the future governing licensing body called the Canadian
Cannabis Control Board.

The “joint” application for a trial delay seemed to be the most logical step
to take, especially since the crown prosecutor was not prepared to go to court
in June. The serious nature of the constitutional arguments, combined with the
fact that Ted is facing a total of 6 charges related to trafficking cannabis,
gives the crown a lot to consider. Given that there is a good change the Supreme
Court could strike down the laws, the court could save substantial time and
resources by delaying Ted’s trial until then. On the other hand, if the Supreme
Court does not entirely remove the laws from the books, Ted’s arguments will
finish off the remainder.

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