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Supreme Court Hearings - Constitutionality of Marijuana Laws – May 6, 2003 (Part 1 of 4)


On May 6, 2003, the court hears arguments in case #28026, David Malmo-Levine v. The Queen; case #28148, Victor Eugene Caine v. The Queen; and case #28189, Christopher James Clay v. The Queen.

All three cases concern the constitutionality of Canada’s laws on marijuana. The cases ask the court to decide whether Parliament has the legislative authority to criminalize simple possession of marijuana and, if so, whether that power has been exercised in a manner contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The claims of Mr. Malmo-Levine and Mr. Caine were rejected by the British Columbia Court of Appeal; the claim of Christopher James Clay was rejected by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Those decisions are now being appealed to the Supreme Court.

Lawyer Paul Burstein presents arguments on behalf of Christopher James Clay and responds to questions from the justices.


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