Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »

Marijuana advocate wants seized pot passed around

By Hempology | January 15, 2002

From the TIMES COLONIST, January 15th, 2002

By Louise Dickson, Times Colonist Staff

Marijuana advocate Ted Smith wants Health Canada to give marijuana seized
at his store to people who need it for medical purposes, but Victoria police
are balking.

Smith, co-ordinator of the Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada, appealed to the
government Monday not to lay charges against him and two other employees
after 3.2 kilograms of cannabis were seized at the store on Jan. 3.

Smith said the government should start helping people and stop prosecuting
those who are serving humanitarian purposes.

“Health Canada, take the marijuana and do the right thing,” said Smith.
“Give it to sick people. Start helping people. Start being reasonable.”

But deputy police chief Geoff Varley said the marijuana seized at the
store is now evidence which could be used at a future trial.

“Even if there’s no trial, I don’t believe there is any way we could
return the marijuana to an accused person. That would make us

Police went to Ted’s Books at 826 Johnson St. after receiving a
complaint that marijauna was on display. Smith wants Health Canada
to use his case as an opportunity to begin working with cannabis clubs
to supply marijuana to sick people.

“Health Canada is taking half-steps to help people who need this medicine,
so people like us are being forced to stick our necks out on behalf of those
who need that medicine and risk arrest and harassment from many authorities,”
said Smith.

Geoff Varley said charges under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act have
been forwarded to the Crown for approval.

Smith selling marijuana is like someone else hanging out a shingle to sell
Ativan or Valium to the public, said Varley.

“He’s not licensed to sell it and the government is already in the process
of doing that,” said the deputy chief.

In 1998, the government first allowed exemptions to drug laws on
compassionate grounds. In August, Parliament passed a law to regularize the
use of medical marijuana.

The regulations apply to patients who have less than a year to live;
those suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord
injuries, severe arthritis or epilepsy or other conditions, if
recommended by two specialists. A doctor must sign the application,
which states the benefits of marijauna use outweighs the risks.

The country’s only authorized supply of marijuana is an underground
mine in Flin Flon, Man. A Saskatoon company, Prairie Plant Systems,
is growing marijuana there for Health Canada. The company expects
its first crop in February.

Topics: Articles | Comments Off

Comments are closed.