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Marijuana activist sentenced to one day in jail after conviction

By Hempology | October 15, 2005

Marijuana activist Ted Smith was sentenced to one day in jail Friday, the lowest allowable sentence on his particular drug conviction for cannabis cookies.
Justice R. Dean Wilson handed Smith the one-day sentence, rejecting Crowns call for nine months to be served in the community.


Defence lawyer Robert Moore-Stewart told Wilson he would have asked for an absolute discharge but the Canadian Criminal Code doesnt allow that when the offence, like Smiths conviction, carries a maximum penalty of life. Moore-Stewart asked for the one day.
Smith was convicted on Thursday of possession of tetrahyrdocannabinol (the substance found in marijuana called THC) for the purpose of trafficking.
Unlike charges for marijuana or hashish, where quantities under three kilograms are subject to a maximum penalty of five years less one day, convictions for THC carry a maximum penalty of life. The jury heard how police arrested Smith on Nov. 15, 2000 near the downtown library. He was unloading what was eventually found to be about 40 to 50 pounds of chocolate chip cookies.
The officers were reacting to a newspaper article in which Smith was quoted as saying he planned to give away several hundred marijuana cookies as part of a pro-marijuana rally.
During the three-day trial, the defence presented evidence from an expert in pharmaceutical chemistry to throw doubt on the laboratory analysis of the cookies. The Health Canada analyst didnt even look at the cookies. Instead, he performed a lab test of the greasy smear the cookies left on a paper bag.
The defence expert said there are any number of legal products, hemp seed, hemp oil, which contain THC and are used in baking.
But Crown counsel Richard Fowler presented evidence from an arresting police officer who testified Smith openly admitted in an interview to using about two ounces of marijuana to make the cookies.
Even Smith, after his conviction, said in an interview outside the courtroom he regretted having such a big mouth, particularly with arresting police officers.
Just before he was sentenced, the judge asked Smith if he had anything to say. Smith stated that he never intended to cause any person any harm.
Smith also said he has learned his lesson. There are other ways he can make his point.
I have no intention of actively flaunting the law so as to put myself at risk, he said.
Society has changed in the last five years and Im no longer as driven as I was.
Smith now has two convictions for trafficking, both times for passing out samples at a rally. The first conviction, now under appeal, occurred in January. He was arrested on Nov. 8, 2000 (about a week before his cookie bust) for passing out joints at a demonstration at the University of Victoria.
Smith is a founding member of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. Commonly called a compassion club, its an organization that supplies marijuana as medicine to people suffering incurable medical conditions.
Police have raided the club four times and 11 charges have been laid and every one has been either dropped, stayed or overturned on appeal.

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