Pot prosecutions under microscope
Judge points to pending legalization
OTTAWA * Some judges are questioning why people continue to be prosecuted for simple possession of marijuana while the Liberal government moves to legalize the narcotic, the country's most senior prosecutors told parliamentarians Thursday.
The House of Commons justice committee heard that one magistrate is even considering whether to continue with a simple-possession case before the court given the Liberals' promise to turn pot consumption into a legal, regulated recreational activity.
In the meantime, the federal government is spending upward of $4 million a year prosecuting those caught with small, personal stashes of the drug, the committee was told. Tens of millions more is spent on police, jail and court costs. In 2014 alone, 22,000 people were charged with marijuana-related offences.
"People in my community, I'm talking the police and others, they don't know what's going on," NDP MP committee member Murray Rankin said Thursday. "These people have talked about reform, why can't they show us a road map of where we're going in marijuana?
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, testifying this week before another Commons committee, said as long as the current law is on the books, the Mounties will not turn a blind eye. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has made a similar declaration.
Brian Saunders, director of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, said "What we've heard occasionally from prosecutors, sometimes the courts are questioning why we're proceeding with these cases given the government has announced its intention in the future to legalize the possession of marijuana.
"The position we've taken is quite simply that until Parliament has enacted a new law, the current law remains in force and if cases are referred to us, we will conduct our usual assessment, and if it meets our threshold test for prosecution, we will continue to prosecute that case."
George Dolhai, deputy director of prosecutions, told the committee of one current case "where the judge has indicated a concern that may (lead) to not proceeding." He said he had no further details.
Liberal MP committee member and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, the government's point man on the pot file, said nothing. He later spoke privately with Saunders and Dolhai.
Blair recently insisted government has a duty to maintain a hard line on continuing prosecutions for minor offences until marijuana is on the same legal footing as alcohol and tobacco. He said cabinet will later likely consider whether to suspend some previous convictions. Ottawa Citizen (NATIONAL POST, Friday, March 11, 2016).
Statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins
concerning Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide
"I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel..."
-The Hippocratic Oath
"You shall not kill." Exodus 20:13
"Contemplating Suicide? We Can Help!" There was a time when such an advertisement pointed to a crisis line, where someone was standing by to counsel you and to offer hope in a situation of intolerable pain. We are in a very different time, now. In a few short months assisted suicide, its grim reality hidden behind blandly deceptive terms like "Medical Assistance in Dying," will be declared an acceptable option in our country, enshrined in law. As the federal government prepares legislation to implement the Supreme Court's decision, it is crucial to consider the effects of this fundamental change in our laws.
Death comes to us all, sometimes suddenly, and sometimes slowly. Although patients benefit from medication that controls pain, they are fully justified in refusing burdensome and disproportionate treatment that serves only to prolong the inevitable process of dying. But dying is simply not the same as being killed. We are grateful for physicians and nurses and others who offer medical assistance to patients who are dying, but it is never justified for them to kill a patient.
Physicians across our country who have devoted their lives to healing patients will soon be asked to do the exact opposite. They will not be asked to ease their suffering by providing them with treatment and loving care, but by putting them to death. In fact, killing a patient will no longer be considered a crime, but will actually be seen as a kind of health care, complete with legislation to regulate it.
On February 25, 2016 a parliamentary committee presented the lawmakers who will craft this disturbing legislation with 21 recommendations. They should shock us to the core, especially if we believe, complacently and incorrectly, that the change in the law will affect only a few people with grave physical illness, who have lived a long life, and are near death. In fact, the recommendations include:
* A desire to allow, beginning in three years, access to euthanasia/assisted suicide for minors (those under 18).
* The ability for those diagnosed with conditions like dementia to pre-schedule their deaths.
* Insistence that those with psychiatric conditions be eligible for euthanasia/assisted suicide.
* A requirement that any institution receiving public funding, including Catholic hospitals, long-term care facilities and hospices, provide euthanasia/assisted suicide, thus forcing them to repudiate the very principles that are the foundation of their immense service to us all.
* A requirement that doctors who refuse to kill a patient must make sure that someone else does it. No other country in the world requires such a violation of conscience.
It is unjust to force people to act against their conscience in order to be allowed to practice as a physician or, in the case of a health care facility, in order to qualify for government funding. It is not tolerant of religious diversity. It is religious discrimination that punishes those who so faithfully serve everyone who comes to them, and have done so since before Canada existed but who, in good conscience, cannot perform some procedures, such as helping to kill their patients.
When the state goes beyond its legitimate but limited role, and suppresses conscience rights in this way, I am reminded of a man whose employer told him to do something against his conscience. He courageously replied: "You employ me; you don't own me."
End-of-life care (palliative care) is currently accessible to only 30% of Canadians. This is a tragedy, and unacceptable. Instead of providing ways to hasten death, we should be providing palliative care for every Canadian, greater support for those with mental illness, and help for those tempted to suicide.
Some people become convinced that, at a certain point, there is no longer any "value" in their life, since they cannot function as they once did. Their concern deserves our compassionate respect, but it is a shaky foundation for social policy. Our value as people comes not from what we can do, but from who we are. It comes from within, from our inherent dignity as human beings. Once we make people's worthiness to live dependent on how well they function, our society has crossed the boundary into dangerous territory in which people are treated as objects that can be discarded as useless.
Mindful of the inherent dignity of each person, it is time for families across the country to have a difficult but necessary conversation about the reality of death. We need to understand the destructive implications of these legal changes, and offer truly loving and merciful alternatives. And Christians should be guided by these words of Jesus, that for 2000 years have inspired heroic acts of loving service: "Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)
+ Thomas Card. Collins
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
March 1, 2016
Tel Legislators How You Feel
Those people who are concerned about this legislation are encouraged to visit CanadiansforConscience.ca and join the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience. The coalition is made up of numerous partners, including more than 5,000 Canadian doctors, and has been formed to educate and engage those who share our concerns.
You can use this website to write directly to your Member of Parliament, respectfully expressing your concerns. Please urge your elected representative 1) to protect the vulnerable; and 2) to ensure that individuals and institutions can provide health care without having to compromise their moral convictions.
"Zarowno w Stanach Zjednoczonych, jak i w szlacheckiej Polsce wladze nie stosowaly przymusowej asymilacji" - JANUSZ TAZBIR ("Silva Rerum Historicarum").
02:02 Hrs. Budzi mnie siusiu (jasno-slomkowe).
03:20 Hrs. Budzi mnie siusiu (jasno-slomkowe).
05:42 Hrs. Budzi mnie siusiu (jasno-slomkowe + puszyste).
07:00 Hrs. Budzik zrywa mnie na rowne nogi + siusiu (slomkowe + puszyste). Na dworze 7-stopniowo. Temp. w kuchni 22C. + zrywam kartke z kalendarza: "Czym sen dla ciala, tym przyjazn dla ducha - odswieza sily" - CYCERON.
07:08 Hrs. Mierze stezenie cukru we krwi na czczo. 5.8 mmol/L = 104 mg/dL.
07:12 Hrs. Lektura tronowa. "Warszawska Gazeta".
ALDONA ZAORSKA: Czyli z perspektywy czasu to Lech Kaczynski mial racje, przyjmujac postawe nieufnosci wobec Putina i niewiary w demokratyzacje Rosji?
JURGEN ROTH: Tak. Z pewnoscia mozna przyjac, ze mial racje, okazujac wobec Putina nieufnosc daleko bardziej posunieta niz inni politycy.
ALDONA ZAORSKA: Skoro jestesmy przy dziennikarzach, jak Pan, jako niezalezny dziennikarz sledczy, ocenia stopien zaangazowania w sprawe Smolenska polskich mediow i ich udzialu w zaklamywaniu prawdy o wydarzeniach z 10 kwietnia? Wspomina Pan w swojej ksiazce np. o "Gazecie Wyborczej". Jak Pan ocenia ten dziennik i jego komentarze odnosnie sledztwa smolenskiego?
JURGEN ROTH: To trudne pytanie i trudno jest udzielic na nie odpowiedzi. Mam wrazenie, ze polscy dziennikarze maja problem z zachowaniem niezaleznosci. Odkad Donald Tusk stanal na czele rzadu polskiego, maja miejsce masowe represje wobec niezaleznych dziennikarzy. Ogromna czesc mediow mainstreamowych byla bardzo silnie zwiazana z rzadem Donalda Tuska. Problemem jest takze to, ze nie ma w Polsce niezaleznego zwiazku zawodowego dziennikarzy. Kolejny problem polega na tym, ze mainstreamowe media na Zachodzie traktuja mainstreamowe media w Polsce za wiarygodne. "Gazeta Wyborcza" jest naturalnie centralnym mainstreamowym medium w Polsce i wykazuje sie wyjatkowo nieobiektywnym stosunkiem do rzadu. Wydaje sie wrecz, ze dziennikarze "Gazety Wyborczej" prowadza brudne kampanie wobec krytykow, a szczegolnie wobec ludzi, ktorzy krytycznie podchodza do wyjasniania katastrofy smolenskiej. Taki rodzaj pomawiania ludzi, ktorzy staraja sie wyjasnic przyczyny katastrofy, w Niemczech bylby nie do wyobrazenia ("Kto z Polski polecil zabic Kaczynskiego?", WARSZAWSKA GAZETA, 29 maja - 4 czerwca 2015 r.).
07:33 Hrs. Wskakuje na wage APSCO. 75 kg + arytmia.
07:45 Hrs. Pije szklanke herbaty owocowej ZURAWINA + 2 daktyle + tabletka na serce 5 mg SANDOZ-BISOPROLOL FUMARATE + sezamka + lyzeczka pylku kwiatowego.
07:50 Hrs. Odpalam maszyne + spiew ptakow + cieplo. Petro-Canada na rogu bierze za litr paliwa $0.95.9.
07:58 Hrs. W kosciele sw. Kazimierza.
"Pan Bog uczynil wielkie rzeczy dla nas."
09:25 Hrs. W domu.
09:33 Hrs. Siusiu (slomkowe + puszyste).
09:55 Hrs. 1-sza szklanka wody z sokiem z cytryny + lyzka stolowa nasion z konopi.
10:08 Hrs. Biore lyzke stolowa oleju z konopi.
10:47 Hrs. Siusiu (slomkowe + puszyste).
11:05 Hrs. Jem banana.
11:13 Hrs. Jem gruszke.
11:24 Hrs. Siusiu (prawie przezroczyste + lekko puszyste).
12:30 Hrs. Jem kawalek wedzonego pstraga THE DEN BESTEN'S RAINBOW TROUT FARM + 1/2 wedzonej makreli + 2 kromki chleba + marynowana papryka + 3 rzodkiewki.
13:00 Hrs. 2-ga szklanka wody + 2 kapsulki 150 mg (300 mg) Magnesium Citrate + 5 tabletek 1000 IU (5000 IU) witaminy D3 + kapsulka 500 mg Turmeric + kapsulka 200 mg koenzymu Co-Q10 + 3 tabletki 1000 mg (3000 mg) witaminy C + kapsulka 500 mg czosnku + zelatynka 1200 mg oleju z ryb OMEGA-3.
13:44 Hrs. Pije szklanke zielonej herbaty + kawalek chalwy + 3 sezamki.
14:12 Hrs. Jem jablko.
15:57 Hrs. 3-cia szklanka wody.
16:55 Hrs. Obiad. Duszona z cebula watrobka cieleca + mizeria z ogorkow + 2 kromki chleba.
17:08 Hrs. 4-ta szklanka wody + tabletka multiwitaminy Centrum 50+ + kapsulka 200 mg koenzymu Co-Q10 + kapsulka 500 mg Turmeric + 2 kapsulki 150 mg (300 mg) Magnesium Citrate.
18:25 Hrs. Podpisuje petycje + wpisuje sie do koalicji HealthCARE and Conscience.
18:40 Hrs. Jem jablko.
19:07 Hrs. Jem 4 rzodkiewki.
19:12 Hrs. Rozmowa z Tereska z NY.
19:42 Hrs. Siusiu (zoltawe + lekko puszyste).
19:48 Hrs. 5-ta szklanka wody + zelatynka 200 mg oleju z ryb OMEGA-3 + kapsulka 500 mg czosnku + tabletka 1000 mg witaminy C.
19:50 Hrs. Wkladam kurtke do pralki.
19:55 Hrs. Pije 2 szklanki swiezego soku ze sokowirowki jablkowo-marchwiowego.
21:05 Hrs. 6-ta szklanka wody.
21:38 Hrs. Wkladam wyprana kurtke do suszarki.
21:55 Hrs. Siusiu (zoltawe + lekko puszyste).
22:25 Hrs. Siusiu (prawie przezroczyste + lekko puszyste).
22:45 Hrs. 7-ma szklanka wody www.NALECZOWIANKA.pl + tabletka 250 mg witaminy B6 + kapsulka witaminy B-Complex + tabletka 500 mcg witaminy B-12 + kapsulka COMPLETE PROBIOTIC.
23:00 Hrs. 8-ma szklanka wody www.NALECZOWIANKA.pl + 10 orzechow brazylijskich.
23:16 Hrs. Siusiu (jasno-zoltawe).
23:48 Hrs. Siusiu (zoltawe + lekko puszyste).