Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jan 2008
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tom McCoag, Amherst Bureau
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


AMHERST - A Maccan-area man who says marijuana cures cancer will have 
to wait until next month to plead to a new charge of drug trafficking.

Ricky Simpson, 58, was to have entered a plea Monday to a charge of 
trafficking not more than three kilograms of cannabis resin. But the 
hearing in Amherst provincial court was cut short when Truro lawyer 
Linda Hupman told Judge Carole Beaton that the Crown and defence 
lawyers handling the case were not in attendance and were asking for 
a postponement until Feb. 28.

Ms. Hupman did not give a reason for the delay or why the lawyers 
were not present. Judge Beaton granted her request, marking the 
second time Mr. Simpson's plea has been postponed.

He was arrested last month as he stepped out of a Nova Scotia Supreme 
Court hearing in Amherst in which he learned his sentencing had been 
postponed on three other drug charges.

After a five-day trial in September, a jury found him guilty of 
possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana and less than three 
kilograms of tetrahydrocannabinol for the purpose of trafficking and 
unlawfully producing marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly 
referred to as THC, is the main active ingredient in marijuana.

Those charges were laid after an Aug. 3, 2005, RCMP raid on his 
Little Forks Road property. The raid netted 1,190 plants that a 
police marijuana expert said would create 83,300 grams of smokable marijuana.

During his Supreme Court trial, Mr. Simpson admitted to growing 
marijuana on his property and using it to create a hemp oil that he 
claimed cures everything from cankers to cancer. He said he 
distributed the hemp oil free to about 300 patients who needed his cure.

When he was first convicted, he urged Justice Felix Cacchione to jail 
him immediately because he would continue to treat his patients as 
long as he was free.

His sentencing was postponed again Monday and now is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Mr. Simpson remains free on a $2,000 surety with conditions. He is 
not to possess, use, consume or produce any controlled substance, 
including marijuana or cannabis resin, unless he has a doctor's 
prescription or obtains a legal right to do so through the federal 
government's medical marijuana program.
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