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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Cannabis Control Policy

 Cannabis Control Policy: A Discussion Paper

 Health Protection Branch

Department of National Health and Welfare

January 1979

Judges. The Le Dain Commission's 1970 study of sentencing in drug cases revealed wide disparities in sentencing policy and practices. During the last ten years, the number of sentencing options has been greatly expanded by the introduction of absolute and conditional discharges, intermittent sentences, the option to proceed by summary conviction for possession, and greater freedom in the use of suspended sentences and probation. Although there has been a marked trend towards more lenient sentences in cannabis cases, there is considerable variation in the use of these new options. As in the case of the drug prosecutor, the judge's exercise of discretion appears to be based on his sense of fairness, and it is a matter of public record. Generally speaking, both the Crown and accused may appeal against sentence if the judge erred in applying a principle of sentencing.

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