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Canadian Compassion Club Rulings

How many more times do we need to waste our precious tax-payer funded resources recycling the same attack against our poorest, most marginalized members of society? Cannabis has the potential to be a cheap herbal therapy that the majority of our poorest could afford if the stigma, which translates unjustly into prejudical laws, was removed. We are supposed to just accept that it remain illegal?

The facts bear out there are no successful convictions anytime a compassion club is involved:

British Columbia Compassion Club Society (BCCCS):

R. v. Richardson (January 26, 2000), No.33558 North Vancouver Registry (Prov. Ct. B.C.);

  1. I accept that the accused was a wholesaler for the purpose of providing the Compassion Club Society of B.C. with a quantity of marihuana to distribute to its members;
  2. those members are in need of marihuana for medical purposes in the same way as the Courts in Ontario found Mr. Parker and Mr. Wakeford to be in need;
  3. many people who suffer from a number of debilitating diseases in this society and who derive some benefit from marihuana, are not in a position to grow their own and must rely on such retailers as the Compassion Club Society;
  4. that club cannot secure its necessary substance without the assistance of growers and wholesalers, of which Mr. Richardson is one;
  5. there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Richardson was involved in any other way in trafficking in marihuana for recreational purposes.

    Therefore, if those who ultimately use the drug for medical purposes may be exempt from the prohibition against possession or cultivation of marihuana, and taking into account the sentences imposed in Czolowski and Lieph, I consider that it would not reflect a just, peaceful and safe society to impose a punitive sanction on Mr. Richardson, who acted as nothing more than a conduit for the provision of marihuana for medical purposes.

R. v. Small (June 27, 2000), No. CC991259, Vancouver Registry (B.C.S.C.);
R. v. Small (February 9, 2001) [2001] B.C.J. No. 248 (BCCA); 12 month conditional discharge

Universal Compassion Centre (UCC) :

R vs Kruse, May 31 2000 - resulted in a conditional discharge after 50 hours of community service for a contracted grower. See:

R vs Krieger, Dec 11, 2000. Aquittal

[56] I am troubled by the fact that the Canadian government has not made arrangements for a legal source of cannabis marihuana to be made available to persons who require it for therapeutic use. Since Dr. Kalant indicated that he was able to obtain cannabis marihuana for research purposes, it must be available from some legitimate source. I trust that if I put a stay of one year on the effect of my decision, similar to that done by the Ontario Court of Appeal, this problem will be solved within the year.

UPDATE: The Crown appealed and the acquittal was upheld in December 2002.

R vs Krieger, June 2001. Aquitted by a jury

UPDATE: The Alberta Court of Appeal overturned Kreiger's acquittal on a charge of possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking.

The Vancouver Island Compassion Society:

R. vs. Lucas July 5, 2002. Absolute discharge

" I find that while there is no doubt that Mr. Lucas offended against the law by providing marijuana to others, his actions were intended to ameliorate the suffering of others. His conduct did ameliorate the suffering of others. By this Courts analysis, Mr. Lucas enhanced other peoples lives at minimal or no risk to society, although he did it outside any legal framework. He provided that which the Government was unable to provide a safe and high quality supply of marijuana to those needing it for medicinal purposes. He did this openly, and with reasonable safeguards. The fact that he has stated he will continue this activity points to the sincerity of his principles, and points to our need as a society to get this thorny issue resolved quickly by either Parliament or the Supreme Court of Canada. " R. A. Higinbotham, P.C.J. British Columbia J

The Montreal Compassion Club:

R. c. St-Maurice & Néron - Charges stayed

Other Medicinal Cannabis Cases:

B.C. Man Gets Absolute Discharge In Court Battle Over Medical Marijuana Apr 11 2002

Ill Man Wins Court Battle Over Marijuana Conviction Jun 22, 2002

Return Pot To Ailing B.C. Man, Rcmp Told Nov 27, 2002

Ontario Court Rules Federal Pot Possession Law Invalid Jan 3, 2003

Ontario Court Strikes Down Ottawa's Medical-Marijuana Jan 9, 2003


Last Modified:Friday, 24-Jan-2003 18:16:19 PST 36725