Pubdate: Fri, 09 Nov 2001
Source: Whitehorse Star (CN YK)
Copyright: 2001 Whitehorse Star
Author: Sarah Elizabeth Brown
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Growing marijuana doesn't solve economic difficulties, a justice of the 
peace has told a man convicted of cultivating the plants in his home.

Justice of the Peace Dean Cameron handed 40-year-old Grover Taggart 45 days 
in jail, to be served on weekends, in court Wednesday afternoon.

Last June 22, the RCMP drug squad searched Taggart's home and found 14 
marijuana plants along with grow equipment, scales and bags in a rear 
bedroom. They found 92.5 grams of cannabis in another room, 88 grams of 
cannabis in a camper on the property and more marijuana plants in the garage.

Taggart pleaded guilty to one count of cultivation. A second cultivation 
charge and a marijuana trafficking charge were stayed.

Taggart's lawyer, Jenny Reid, said the charges stem from economic difficulties.

She said Taggart hadn't worked full-time since 1991 because of a severe 
diabetic condition and was living on $425 each month. He's worked in 
diamond drilling part-time and hopes to get his diabetic condition under 
control and be back at work, said Reid.

She noted that his last drug conviction, also for cultivation, was in 1995, 
and that Taggart was willing to pay a fine and had lots of time to serve 
community hours. Taggart's four prior drug convictions don't seem to have 
deterred him, said Crown prosecutor Narissa Somji. She asked Cameron to 
sentence Taggart to intermittent jail time and a $2,500-fine.

"It should be clear to you by now the drug thing is not going to do it for 

Cameron told Taggart. "It's not going to solve your economic problems and 
it's not going to solve any other problems you have.

"The way to drive that home to you is a custody sentence," said Cameron.

The justice of the peace said jail time was necessary because it's 
Taggart's fifth drug conviction. The significant amount of drugs involved 
is also a factor, said Cameron.
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