by Matt Mernagh - Thursday, June 23 2011
The federal government received a small reprieve on 90 day marijuana legalization deadline until their appeal could be heard. In exchange for granting their time out, the justice gave them only six months to prepare their appeal. We’ll be back in court in November, instead of the usual 18 months it takes to have an appeal heard.
It’s disappointing, but only a small procedural hiccup in our lengthy court battle. Back in the fall of 2010 when we began seeking witnesses, few people believed in what we were doing. Twenty two people and several personal supporters did. They put in a great deal of time behind the scenes. Without them, there’s no Mernagh ruling. We built a foundation to the most amazing cannabis court ruling because a dedicated group of people pitched. There’s a small twinge of feeling I let my team down.
Then again we did go 2 for 3. Not a bad day at the ball park. We received a quick return date. We’ll be before the highest court in province in November instead of the standard 18 months. My personal court ordered exemption will continue.
Let’s be honest, my case clearly calls for a stay or what I refer to as a legal time out. The test for a stay, to be frank is, will this ruling fuck shit up. Yes, it will. Without a doubt it’s very substantial and an appeal from the federal government is forthcoming. It argue the ruling is not substantial would be silly.
We painted a picture what society would look like with personal possession and cultivation no longer enforceable. Less opiate addiction. The Supreme Court of Canada has done an excellent overview of how harmless marijuana is via my friend David Malmo-Levine.
Our witnesses and a number of terminally and chronically ill need the law struck down to medicate peacefully. We made a strong argument here. The justice listened to our arguments.
Given the first two parts of the test for a request for a stay are easily met, we anticipated a very quick less than 30 minute hearing. Instead we were treated with incredible amount of legal respect. The prosecutors efforts to get Health Canada medicinal marijuana stats pass the judge was rebuked. Once again. I was really happy to see a justice call him on it.
When we left for our two hour lunch break, the prosecutor commented he thought we’d be back in a week for a decision. Lawyer Paul Lewin did more than amazing job because government was concerned their almost assured stay might not happen. Beating a stay is more difficult than having the marijuana laws struck down. IMO. Guess, that’s why people believed we could do it again yesterday. Hit another home run against the prohibition pitcher.
At end of day its a small procedural victory for prohibition.