Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »


By Hempology | April 24, 2008

by Ted Smith

There have been several important court decisions regarding suppliers of medical cannabis in Canada in recent months.  The founder of a club in London, Ontario, has been given a conditional sentence of 2 years less-a-day after the facility was shut down in March 2007 (see Digest #13).  Pete Young, 36, owner of the Organic Traveller and a director of the London Compassion Society, pleaded guilty to trafficking cannabis, cultivating cannabis and possession of magic mushrooms in Dec, 2007. Charges against Rob Newman, a 45-year old man who is HIV-positive and Kurt Fisher, 27, were dropped in the process.  Police claim the plants found in 4 apartments units above the society’s storefront were worth about $1 million.  Despite a pile of letters of support, including one from the Aids Committee of London, Ontario Court Justice Ross Webster ordered $14,000 seized be forfeited.

Pete has been upset since the raid when he considers the plight of the members. “They are going to have to go through ridiculous amounts of pain and anguish and lack of quality of life because of the actions of closing the Compassion Centre for as long as it did.”  Pete will spend the first 6 months of his sentence under house arrest but will be allowed to visit his store, the Organic Traveller, where he had been prohibited under his bail conditions. 

In Nova Scotia, Rickey Williams was sentenced to one day in jail, which the judge considered served by his day in court, and a $2,000 fine for producing cannabis and trafficking THC, the main active chemical in the herb.  Rickey was growing the cannabis on his farm in Macaan, N.S. from which he made an oil that he gave away to over 300 people suffering from a variety of serious medical problems (see Digest #11 and 16).  Rickey was also turned in by a woman who called police after he gave her about one teaspoon of oil to give to a relative of hers who used the oil for medical reasons.    He was charged with trafficking while he was appearing at court awaiting sentencing last year for his first charges.

Disgusted with the way Canada treats the sick and dying, Rickey has decided to sell his properties and move to South America. “I’m looking at moving to either Ecuador, Peru or Brazil.  Those are countries where the government won’t prosecute me and where I can be free to make the (marijuana) medication I require.”  He was sentence to 8 days in jail in his second trial, though he did not have to go back to jail because of the time he spent behind bars after he was arrested.  You can learn more about Rickey’s struggle by watching the movie “RUN FROM THE CURE” posted on several web-pages, including

On a brighter note, lawyer Alan Young was again successful at proving the MMAR is an unconstitutional program in what is known as the Carasel case, referring to the business that several individuals wanted to use as their medical cannabis supplier.  The Honourable Barry Stayer’s decision has been appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the court that forced the MMAR into existence in the first place in July, 2000.  The appeal should be heard this fall.  In his decision, Judge Stayer was quite critical of Health Canada’s programs, but he did not consider more than the limits placed upon designated growers.  “`Indeed it seems logical that if designated producers were authorized to produce for many customers there would be economies of a scale and level of income that might make possible even better quality control by the producer.

At the same time a host of one customer designated producers would be made unnecessary and therefore any control and inspection system Health Canada might wish to impose on designated producers would be simpler and cheaper to operate with fewer growers.” pp14. In section 18 of the decision he goes on to state:  Fourthly, the government says 41(b1) is necessary to “maintain an approach that is consistent with movement towards a supply model“ whereby medical marijuana would be produced and made available like other therapeutic drugs, on prescription and trough pharmacies. That may well be a laudable goal and if ever reached would make unnecessary litigation such as the present case. But we do not know when this new age will dawn and in the meantime the courts in their wisdom have concluded that persons with serious conditions for which marijuana provides some therapy should have reasonable access to it. It is no answer to say that someday there may be a better system. Nor does hope for the future explain why a designated producer must be restricted by one customer.”  Striking down the limit of one patient per designated grower has many in the movement eager to start large, legal grow-ops.

However, the continuing trial of the VICS could result in a complete overhaul of the MMAR if successful (see Digest #3, 10, 14, 15 and 16).  Senator Pierre Claude-Nolin will be finishing his testimony at the Vancouver courthouse (800 Smithe St.), where it appears the rest of the trial will take place, on April 28 and 29, and, if necessary, on May 1 and 2.  Then the crown will present it’s testimony by having Valerie Lasher, former director of the office of MADD, Dr Richard Viau, head scientist, and Dr Harold Kalant, Health Canada’s research expert, present evidence by video conference from Ottawa from May 12-26.  Dates for concluding arguments are not set and a decision is not likely before the fall.

Topics: Articles, CD-17th, Spring 2008 | Comments Off

Comments are closed.