In today’s world of free morality the question of marijuana legalization is actually a problem, I guess. For example, the question for young parents – would they like their children see/smell/taste marijuana freely. Sometimes there is raised the question of ill-morality of contemporary society. For example, we limit the rights of those who are smoking tobacco, or drinking alcohol. But the same time we find out that the fact of smoking marijuana violates civil and constitutional rights of the smoker.
I think that the complicated question of constitutional and civil rights violence in the one that could clearly characterize the situation described in the court and the situation happened after 28 years shows that the question raised in 1979 is still acute and now it is raised and solved in the different way: “In my view, the signal restraint in the application of the general power ought to extend to a case such as this, where it would seem clear that the Narcotic Control Act can be easily and properly characterized as falling within one of the enumerated heads of federal power, namely, head 27 of s. 91. Accepting, as I think one must, that the Narcotic Control Act is criminal legislation, it follows from what has gone before that provincial supervisory power is maintained in respect of prosecution of offences under that Act” (JSCC, 1979).
The situation against marijuana possession changes very quickly. It has gone far beyond the court and the legislation that regulated the question. The society has divided into two parties – for and against legalization.
What about historically happened situation. Actually marijuana was added to the Confidential Restricted list in 1923. Canada was involved into the different international conferences, where the questions of marijuana was discussed and as an essential continuation cannabis was outlawed after the “Director of the Federal Division of Narcotic Control returned from League of Nation meetings where the international control of the drug was broached” (Carstairs, 2000)
It did not attracted the attention of Canadian Government as well as Criminal Court And even then until the 1961 the drug arrests for marijuana prosecution counted nearly 2% in the whole country. But the situation has changed and sometimes it seems that it was changed to worse.
In October 2007 Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister announced the new national anti drug strategy. “A proposed bill would have dealers facing one-year mandatory prison sentences if they are operating for organized crime purposes, or if violence is involved.
Dealers would also face a two-year mandatory jail sentence if they are selling to youth, or dealing drugs near a school or an area normally frequented by youth. Additionally, people in Canada who run a large marijuana grow operation of at least 500 plants would risk facing a mandatory two-year jail term. Maximum penalties for producing cannabis would increase from 7 to 14 years” (Nicholson, 2007).
But there also exist such an organization as Marijuana Party of Canada. It struggles for the legislation of marijuana and takes part in the elections in order to promote their main law about cannabis legalization. It was founded in the year 2000 and at once nominated the nearest elections. It will be important to note that popularity of this party is is lessened if we take statistical data and their social position is not actually taken into consideration by the Canadian government and the citizens as well.
Going back to the case analysis we started from the very beginning I would like to note that a number of juridical questions described the history of legislation, without any doubts influences the development of the law strategies, the attitude of common Canadians and the juridical practice as well. Every case could be seriously taken as a certain precedent and it was rightly noted that questions connected with drugs, drug addiction and drug legalization go far beyond the court and rather touch the questions of morality: “In the result, I would answer the restated constitutional questions: “(1) It is not within the competence of the Parliament of Canada to enact legislation, as in s. 2 of the Criminal Code, to authorize the Attorney General of Canada, or his agent, to institute proceedings, to prefer indictments, and to conduct prosecutions in respect of an offence under the Narcotic Control Act as the “Attorney General” with all the powers of intervention, control and appeal attaching to that office. (2) It is within the competence of the Parliament of Canada to enact legislation, as in s. 2 of the Criminal Code, to authorize the Attorney General of Canada, or his agent, to act as the “Attorney General”, and indeed the only Attorney General”, in respect of a violation or conspiracy to violate an Act of Parliament enacted under any head of power in s. 91 of the British North America Act, other than head 27 relating to the criminal law power. The appeal should be dismissed. There should be no costs in the appeal” (JSCC, 1979).
Now it is history, but it is more than history in Law practice, this case is among those, which should be taken into consideration as the one, which determines, not only the development of the whole legislative system but influences our future and the future of our children. I would like to make the stress on the fact that the question will be raised not once or twice in future as the question of drug legalization is one of the most burning in the common society. Nobody would tell a thing about using drugs in medical case. But what is about something more? The question is difficult and government as well as Canadians have different attitude to this question.
But I think that such cases should be studied in order common people should know how the history was written and what lessons of the past should be undertaken in the future, if we want to bring up healthy and prosperous nation.