Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »

Winnipeg Marijuana Activist Jailed.

By admin | November 19, 2004

By Alex Reid
Nov 18, 2004.

Manitoba’s foremost medical marijuana advocate, was sentenced to six months in jail on Wednesday. [Chris] Buors, 46, was arrested in August 2002 when a neighbour called police to report a home invasion at Buors’ home. When Police arrived, they found around 30 marijuana plants and hydroponic equipment in Buors’ home in Winnipeg.

Buors said that the marijuana he was growing was for the Compassion Club, which has about 25 local members who are living with a range of illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and depression. Buors says that the Compassion Club was setup to help people who have never “hung out in the drug culture” find marijuana for a discounted price to help relieve their physical pain.

The federal government adjusted drug laws two years ago to allow patients in pain to obtain a special exemption that allows them to possess marijuana for their personal use. Nearly 700 people across Canada have since obtained the exemption. One of those people is thirty-six-year-old Andy Caisse who has MS. Caisse has a Health Canada card that allows him to possess up to 120 grams of marijuana. He says that smoking marijuana helps control the tremors related to MS.

While recognizing that Buors was providing a service to people in pain like Caisse, Judge Alan MacInnes said that the law is still the law and everyone must follow the same rules.

“Whether one agrees with his position, one must respect his right to express it. However, advocacy has limits,” said MacInnes, before sentencing Buors to six months in jail and three years supervised probation.

“This is way too harsh in my opinion,” Buors said as he was led away to jail in handcuffs, though he wasn’t surprised. The day before, Buors had told that he was expecting three to six months behind bars since the Crown was asking the judge for a sentence of one year. “I wouldn’t do what I do if I was afraid to go to jail.”

Buors had originally argued that the police had no right to enter his home when a neighbour called 911 to report that someone was breaking into Buors’ home. MacInnes rejected that claim, telling Buors that it is an officer’s responsibility to ensure evidence is preserved and that the victim is safe. When MacInnes rejected the claim, Buors pleaded guilty and asked for a conditional sentence like he had received for his first drug conviction in 1998.

During Buors’ trial, the court heard a taped radio interview in which Buors had said that he wasn’t apologetic for his actions and that he would likely grow marijuana again. The court also heard from the Winnipeg Police that Buors was campaigning outside the downtown Law Courts Building for free hydroponic equipment and cash, mere days after his arrest in 2002.

Despite the conviction, Buors said his fight to legalize marijuana has only now been strengthened. He compares himself to other political advocates who have gone to jail for their beliefs such as Nelson Mandela. But more importantly, Buors says, he’ll be in company with many more people who are serving time for marijuana.

“Maybe I’ll pick up some better grow tips.”

Topics: Articles | Comments Off

Comments are closed.