You can call me a bleeding heart if you must, but it just breaks my heart when I see kids walk away from court with a criminal record for possession of marijuana, even if they are dumbasses for getting caught.
But for the grace of dumb luck, who among us wouldn’t have a criminal record or be dead because of the dumbassery of youth.
One such case in Yorkton court on Monday struck me. It involved an 18-year-old, who ended up arrested for possession because of a traffic stop for swerving around on the street splashing puddles.
Like I said. Dumb. But honestly, I’d rather see him get a criminal record for reckless driving than possessing pot.
Regular readers know where I stand on marijuana laws. I don’t smoke it, don’t even like it, but it should be legal, period. I’ve written about this at length.
Another case this week brought up some issues I had not really thought about before, however. Zachary Villeneuve and Jillian Fedun pleaded guilty to trafficking, possession and production of marijuana.
The tragedy of this case is that Villeneuve is very ill. I won’t go into the details for his privacy’s sake, but because of his illness, he actually has a licence to grow marijuana for his own use.
The concept of medical marijuana really muddies the waters. The fact that we recognize it as a drug with legitimate medicinal purposes suggests it belongs under the Food and Drugs Act, not the Criminal Code.
Of course, that might not have helped Villeneuve and Fedun. They sold pot to undercover cops. They were growing it at a residence not approved for that purpose. Dumb, but even if marijuana was legal, as it should be, what they did would still be illegal.
Given the circumstances, though, the Crown was ready to let them off with a conditional sentence. These are not criminal masterminds. They’re not associated with organized crime. They’re not pushing to children.
Unfortunately, the question was raised whether the sentence is lawful given new mandatory minimum sentences passed by Parliament last year and the case was adjourned until Friday.
Dumbassery aside, it would be a real shame if these kids wind up in jail because of a political idealogy that ties judges’ and prosecutors’ hands and is simply inappropriate for a drug that a majority of Canadians agree should be legal.