Criminal Law

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The current regime and enforcement of the laws against the simple possession of marijuana only serve the interests of organized crime, and the “legal enforcement industry”.  

A somewhat restricted supply leads to somewhat higher prices.  This gives a larger profit for organize crime to hire highly paid drug pushers.  In a sense, this adds to the proliferation of drug use by providing a ready and well paid sales force. [I read in the Drudge Report recently that the ongoing partial legalization of the use of marijuana in California has caused a dramatic drop in the street price].

I accept as true that the consumption of marijuana is less dangerous for human health than the consumption of alcohol, in relative quantities.  I also accept that marijuana has many known health benefits, and probably many that are yet to be discovered.

I accept that marijuana use maybe a “gateway” to the use of other more addictive and harmful substances, such as hard liquor and hard drugs.  I also accept that the use of alcohol can lead to the use of other more addictive and harmful substances, such as hard liquor and hard drugs.

If drugs cannot be banished from a super controlled environment, such as a maximum security prison, they cannot be controlled on the streets.

We often laugh at the efforts of society in the “Prohibition era” in regards to the futility of banning alcohol consumption.  However, they soon recognized the futility of their ways, while our society continues to pursue the charade.

Thousands and thousands of ordinary Canadians bear criminal records for the simple possession of marijuana.

There are significant numbers of high court judges who have expressed strong dissenting opinions in relation to the enforcement of these laws.

In my respectful opinion, all of society pays a high price when the criminal laws are held up to ridicule.  Society is not well served when highly paid police officers are wasting scarce resources by “running up statistics” by laying criminal charges against persons for the simple possession of marijuana.  

It is not possible for society to effectively control the simple possession of marijuana.  The futile  effort has wasted billions of dollars, created untold victims of criminal records, and has undermined the integrity of the system in regards to criminal law generally.


It is a victimless crime and the hypocrisy is evident by comparison to the manner in which the possession and use of alcohol is regulated.

Jim O'Neil, LL.B.

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