Legally Speaking: Courthouse Camping – Marijuana and Pickton Book

judges_tent_03Victoria Lawyer Michael Mulligan on Legally Speaking discussing the continued camping on the lawn of the Victoria Courthouse, a Federal Court decision striking down medical marijuana regulations and a book by convicted serial killer Robert Pickton.

Despite being given notice to vacate the lawn of the Victoria Courthouse, and the provision of alternative housing, many campers have decided to stay. As the property is owned by the province of British Columbia, rather than the City of Victoria, a bylaw requiring tents to be packed up during the day doesn’t apply.

The explanation for the remaining campers staying on the lawn range from a desire to protest the adequacy of social services to those who are there as a result of profound mental health and addiction issues.

If campers decide to remain on the property, the next step will likely be an application by the province for an  injunction requiring them to vacate and for the police to enforce the order.

While the slow and measured approach to the camp is, no doubt, frustrating for residents of the neighbourhood it was appropriate to have taken time to ensure that there are alternative accommodations available for those who wished them.

In other legal news, a Federal Court judge has found the Canadian medical marijuana scheme to be unconstitutional. The federal government has six months to correct the problem. While the decision deals specifically with medial marijuana it may encourage the federal government to expedite their plans to legalize marijuana generally. In the interim, the legal treatment of marijuana is an unsatisfactory mess with arbitrary enforcement varying by jurisdiction.

Finally, convicted serial killer Robert Pickton has written a book. Initially the prospect of Pickton profiting from the notorious case caused outrage. It would now seem that Pickton signed over the rights to the book to another inmate in exchange for him sneaking the manuscript out of jail.

Absent any possibility of Pickton profiting from the book the solution to the problem of potentially odious literature is much simpler: don’t read it.

Michael Mulligan New head b&wMichael Mulligan is a lawyer at Mulligan Tam Pearson in Victoria. Legally Speaking is live on CFAX 1070 Thursdays at 11:00am.