B-C’s highest court is hearing what’s believed to be the first challenge in Canada to the Harper government’s mandatory minimum sentences on drug charges.
Joseph Lloyd was convicted last year after police stopped him on his bike and found him with about ten grams of heroin, crack and meth.
But a provincial court judge refused to hand down the mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in jail, saying it was unconstitutional.
The Crown is appealing, and lawyer Adrienne Smith is intervening on behalf of Pivot Legal Soeicty.
She says, “Our submissions are about how the mandatory minimum sentence could lead to cruel and unusual punishment for accused persons … who have become involved in the drug trade as a result of their addiction.”
Smith says drug problems should be answered by doctors and not prison wardens.
The case runs today and tomorrow.