Article by Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun
In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out.
Mandatory minimum penalties for marijuana growers have now been tossed out three times by Ontario Superior Court judges in the last two years.
The third strike occurred in Hamilton on Friday when Justice Andrew Goodman struck down the two-year mandatory minimum sentence as unconstitutional.
Goodman made the ruling while sentencing Hamilton hair-dresser Trung Tran, who helped produce 992 pot plants at a relative’s rented home in Ancaster.
“The two-year mandatory minimum jail term … constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and violates Section 12 of the Charter,” stated Goodman.
These mandatory minimums are now knocked out of the ball park for lower court judges, who have to follow these Superior Court rulings.
But Superior Courts judges don’t have to accept these rulings. It’s up to Ontario’s highest level of legal umpires, the Ontario Court of Appeal, to make the next ruling.
The law is what the Court of Appeal says it is — at least until the Supreme Court of Canada decides to weigh in on an issue.