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LY210 Lecture Notes - Individualism

Law & Society
Course Code
Patricia O' Reilly

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Role of Harm
Oct 18, 2012
Week 6, Thursday
discusses cannabis prohibition in canada
looks at landmark case r v. Clay
not being challenged on professional issue of harm or damage, but moral
progress regarding decriminalization has been trivial
ledane commission:
created to investigate public debate of non medical use of weed
repeal current laws for decriminalization, but not complete legalization
decision would only affect canada's weed possession, not hard drugs
found that law tends to be paternalistic to protect user and society even if drugs cause no harm
bertrand: opposed decriminalization. Drugs netural substance, gov't at fault. Drug laws are abusive, and
must be proportional to what they seek to prevent.
Chris Clay
london, ont
sold weed seeds
may 1995
arrested and charged with possession for trafficking
clay had business for 2 years with no interference
“why is law enforcement NOW dealing with it instead of earlier”
validity of arrest and charge questionable
clay sought help of Alan Young
challenged constitutionality of can's drug laws
basis charges were contrary to section 7.
at trial: clay and young demonstrated charter right violated
argued harmlessness of marijuana
dismissed on the grounds that there is no intrusion on fundamental rights.
Judges should only enforce, not create law.
Individual freedom cannot outweigh society's freedoms.
Act does not always need to cause harm for it to be criminalized
should gov't be allowed to interfere in autonomous decisions such as the use of marijuana? Section 7
oct 6 7 8th 1999.
unanimous dismissed decision.
Insignificant risk/damage is becoming more of an argument to charter challenges.
May pursure whatever he/she may want without gov't interference.
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