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P.E.I. Judge frees man on pot possession

By Hempology | March 15, 2003

From CBC News, March 14th, 2003

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – A judge in Prince Edward Island on Friday stayed charges of marijuana possession against a 19-year-old man, citing an Ontario ruling that said the charge of possession of marijuana is unconstitutional.

Judge Ralph Thompson said in a written ruling, “If this prosecution is permitted to continue it would be tantamount to ruling that more than one third of the population of Canada is immune from prosecution while the rest of the residents of Prince Edward Island are not.”

‘… possession of marijuana will not proceed in this court,’ judge rules
The man charged with possession is Ronald Stavert. His lawyer, Cliff McCabe, said Stavert left the courtroom confused over exactly what had happened.

“I had to explain to him outside what happened,” McCabe said. “He’s relieved but also understands that it’s not over. So until we get some indication that the Crown isn’t going to proceed with this, we have to assume they’ll probably appeal it.”

Thompson said in his decision:

“All residents of Canada, wherever they are situated, are entitled, in fairness, to expect a uniformity of approach from the federal Crown, wherever it performs its prosecutional function.

“Until such time as the law is changed by Parliament, or the higher courts provide a ruling which will enable such an approach, this charge involving simple possession of marijuana will not proceed in this court.”

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