Northern Weed


Canada's Supreme Court has rejected the claim that banning marijuana possession violates that nation's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The plaintiffs had argued that the charter requires the government to demonstrate harm to third parties before criminalizing an activity. On the brighter side, Prime Minister Paul Martin plans to reintroduce a bill that would eliminate the possibility of jail time for possessing small amounts of pot, insteading imposing a modest fine.

A dozen U.S. states have the same policy. But as the Drug Reform Coordination Network's Phillip Smith notes in his handy guide to Canada's marijuana debate, that fact has not stopped federal drug warriors from popping a vein over the prospect of decriminalization in Canada.