Chief Justice of Alberta, W. A. McGillivray, wrote this letter to me in response to my inquiry about the fact that there were more marijuana arrests in Alberta that the rest of Canada.
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10th November, 1977
A. D. Charbonneau, Esq.,
Director, Alberta Legalization
of Cannabis Committee,
P.O. Box 96, Station “G”,
CALGARY, Alberta, T3A 2G5.
I have your letter of 3rd November.
You will appreciate that the Courts have precisely nothing to do with the making of the law, and whether the smoking of marijuana is desirable or not
is a matter for the representatives of the people of Canada, that is, the members of Parliament. The Courts’ duty is to pass sentences appropriate to discourage the breaking of the law as it exists-from time to time.
Whether any particular Judge has sympathy for the arguments you make is totally irrelevant, and his duty is to give effect to the law as it exists.
While there may be some disparity of sentences across Canada, we can only be concerned about uniformity within the Province of Alberta. We seek to
achieve this, but it must be recognized that in any given case the particular circumstances of that case may very much affect the result.
I think I can not say more to you than this.
Yours very truly,
W. A. McGillivray,
Chief Justice of Alberta.