Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jun 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Shannon Kari
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


TORONTO - The federal Department of Justice has dropped all
trafficking-related charges against another marijuana compassion club
in Toronto, because it was not in the "public interest" to continue
the prosecution.

Three members of the "Section 56" compassion club faced charges,
including possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and
possession of proceeds of crime. The defendants were charged last year
after police seized more than eight kilograms of marijuana from the

One of the three defendants, Bruce Ryan, had asked the court to hear a
motion that the existing Marijuana Medical Access Regulations were

Instead of arguing the motion, a federal Justice Department prosecutor
told a provincial court judge on June 9 that the charges were being
withdrawn, without providing reasons. There was a similar lack of
explanation in January when trafficking charges were withdrawn against
members of the Toronto Compassion Centre, which had fought a
successful court battle against the federal government's medical
marijuana regulations.

Medical marijuana advocates say that despite a number of legal
victories, police are still laying charges and the federal government
is not complying with court orders to improve supply to sick people.
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