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Health and welfare of Canadians means nothing to Ottawa

By Hempology | February 14, 2008

Amherst Daily News, NS
11 Feb 2008
Raissa Tetanish


Found Guilty On Marijuana Charges, Sentenced To One Day In Custody, Fine

AMHERST – After Justice Felix Cacchione sentenced him to one day custody deemed served by his court appearance, Rickey Logan Simpson says he’s not willing to remain in a country where he’s labelled a criminal because of his medicinal need for hemp oil.

“I may immigrate to another country where I’m not persecuted for using hemp oil,” Simpson said after his sentencing, which included a $2,000 fine to be paid by Aug.  15.

“Hemp oil is the only medicine I’ve found that controls my medical condition, but our system denies this to me and to others.”

Simpson was arrested in 2005 and went to trial this past September facing one count each of production of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) for the purpose of trafficking.  A jury found Simpson guilty on all three counts.

“After five years of trying to bring this medicinal oil to the people, I’m very disillusioned as to how this country is being run.  It seems the health and welfare of Canadians means nothing to Ottawa,” added Simpson.

For years, Simpson has been giving hemp oil to people with various illnesses, including cancer, because he believes it cures those illnesses.

In delivering their recommendations, Crown attorney Monica McQueen and defense attorney Duncan Beveridge each presented various cases that had some similarities to Simpson’s case.  Both attorneys agreed Simpson’s case was unique in the fact that he has no prior related record and was doing it for a non-commercial benefit.

The Crown’s recommendation was to have Simpson placed in federal custody for two years, while the defence recommended an absolute discharge.

Justice Cacchione felt a discharge would not be in the best interest of the general public and would send a message to others that if they don’t like a certain law to ignore it and there would be no consequences.

He also said, however, that he has no doubt Simpson believes in what he’s been doing.

“Mr.  Simpson has a sincere belief he has a cure with this oil and should be commended, but in reality, he broke the law,” said Cacchione.

If Simpson doesn’t pay the $2,000 fine by Aug.  15, 2008, he will spend six months in custody.  He was also given a 10-year firearms prohibition and forfeited the items seized.

While awaiting sentencing last year, Simpson was arrested at the end of November on an unrelated, yet similar, charge.  He is facing one count of trafficking THC, and was remanded for several days before being released after a show-cause hearing.

Since spending that time in custody, Simpson has conveyed that he will not continue growing marijuana and trafficking THC.

“Mr.  Simpson, I do hope those sentiments you have expressed through your counsel are accurate and if you wish to continue trying to change the law, there are proper channels go forward with,” Cacchione added.

Simpson said following the sentencing that he thinks Cacchione has a conscience, however he still wants to leave Canada.

“If this country does not change, God help the Canadian people.”

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