Pubdate: Wed, 12 Sep 2007
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2007 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tom McCoag, Amherst Bureau


Cumberland County Man Can't Convince Court That Drug Can Cure

AMHERST - A Cumberland County man who claims marijuana cures cancer
appeared frustrated when some questions he asked witnesses during his
trial on drug charges were ruled out of order.

Ricky Logan Simpson, who is defending himself, sighed and shook his
head when Justice Felix Cacchione intervened for about the 12th time
Tuesday to prevent him from questioning one of four RCMP officers
during the second day of his trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

All of the Mounties participated in the Aug. 3, 2005, raid on Mr.
Simpson's Little Forks Road property in the Maccan area that netted
about 1,200 marijuana plants.

Mr. Simpson is charged with possessing less than 30 grams of
marijuana, possessing less than three kilograms of cannabis resin for
trafficking and producing marijuana.

He tried repeatedly to ask the officers about the medicinal value of
marijuana, whether they knew he needed marijuana for medical purposes
or that he was treating cancer patients with the oil he made from marijuana.

He also asked several times why the RCMP refused to view a videotape
he had presented to the local detachment several months before the
raid detailing how marijuana was helping to cure local people with
diseases like cancer.

But Justice Cacchione ruled the questions out of order because they
were irrelevant to the case, required expert knowledge that the
officers did not have or were attempts to improperly put evidence
before the jury.

On one occasion, Mr. Simpson asked an officer to explain why the RCMP
was spending huge amounts of money trying to eradicate "a plant
(marijuana) that had not killed anyone."

Before he could respond, the judge said the question was irrelevant
because the officer could not answer for Parliament, which passed the
laws making marijuana a controlled substance.

Mr. Simpson asked another officer whether he believed the money spent
trying to catch marijuana producers would be better spent fighting
harder drugs like heroin. But even as Crown attorney Monica McQueen
was rising to object, the judge said "the witness was not able to
answer . . . because it would be like asking the foot soldier why the
general sent him to war."

Mr. Simpson also asked why the RCMP would refuse to watch a video that
proved marijuana was a "miracle drug," but Justice Cacchione said the
officer could not speak on behalf of the entire RCMP.

The four officers testified they found 1,190 marijuana plants in Mr.
Simpson's backyard, equipment for an indoor growing operation, and a
still for making cannabis resin in his home. Under cross-examination,
the Mounties said they were unaware that Mr. Simpson's work in
allegedly curing people with marijuana had been written about in a
local weekly newspaper a year before the raid.

They also said they knew nothing about the tape Mr. Simpson said he
had given the Amherst detachment about his activities two months
before the raid.

But they agreed with him that it wouldn't be normal for a drug dealer
to detail his work to the media or give police information about what
he was doing.

The trial continues.
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