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Gerald Le Dain, a judge who led a well-regarded but ultimately little-heeded commission on the non-medical use of drugs, has died at 83.

The Supreme Court of Canada said in a release that Mr. Justice Le Dain died Tuesday in Toronto. Cause of death was not given.

From 1969 to 1973, he chaired the federal inquiry into drug use.

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Its four lengthy reports, supporting movement toward the decriminalization of marijuana, marked a turning point in official North American thinking about recreational drugs.

A Montreal lawyer and then a teacher at McGill, Judge Le Dain became dean of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1967 and was called to the bar of Ontario the following year.

Two years later, he was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeal and was elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada in May, 1984, retiring four years later.

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