Summary Of The Canadian Supreme Court Case Of R. V. Smith

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The Canadian Supreme Court case R. v. Smith (2015 SCC 34) involves the accused, Owen Smith, not only producing edible and medical marijuana products but also selling it as well. Marijuana is prohibited under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act with the exemption of medical marijuana in its dried form. Smith supplied medical marijuana derivatives that were not dried, such as cookies and ointments. In addition, Smith violated the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, which restrict legalized possession of medical marijuana to dried marijuana. He was charged with possession and possession for purpose of trafficking. Smith challenged this and claimed that the prohibition on non-dried forms of medical marijuana infringes his section 7 right of…show more content…
The main point of this essay is to depict the arguments in the R. v. Smith case further in details in addition to providing the outlook and analyses of both John Stuart Mill and Patrick Devlin. At the end of the essay, it would be presented and argued which sides were more persuasive.

Smith declared that by charging him with possession and possession for purpose of trafficking of cannabis violates his section 7 right on the Charter. Smith also argued that the charges are unconstitutional because it limits lawful possession of marijuana for medical purposes to “dried marijuana”. In order to violate section 7, a law must violate life, liberty and security of the person. The prohibition infringes Smith’s liberty because he will face jail sentence by possessing marijuana that is not dried. Furthermore, it also harms the liberty of medical marijuana users since it requires them to inhale dried marijuana in spite of the risk associated with smoking it. Moreover, evidence presented at the trial revealed that oral ingestion such as baked products or gel capsules, which are the ones Smith produced, allows the medical benefits to continue over a longer period of time, which is more effective for chronic condition (R. v.
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We can not just change the law depending on the welfare of other people. If that is the case every time, the law would be hard to maintain and regulate. I strongly believe, like Devlin, we must leave our personal viewpoints and not relate it to the law unless it deals with morality. For example, staying on the topic of marijuana, in the R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine case, both Malmo-Levine and Caine were charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana. Caine argues that the charges violates the principles of fundamental justice for Parliament to provide for a period of imprisonment as a sentence for demeanour which he states results in little or no harm of others. Malmo-Levine argues the constitutional validity of the prohibition against possession for the purpose of trafficking in marijuana (R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine 3 SCR 571,2003). Both Malmo-Levine and Caine presented with the harm principle to support their argument. They both claimed that they are not harming anyone, therefore, it should be appropriate and allowed. In addition, they also argued that it only concerns the criminal law if it causes any harm to others, hence, the criminal law cannot prohibit conduct that harms only the accused. Though they are correct according to Mill’s principle, I personally do not agree with the idea that an
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