Pubdate: Fri, 29 Feb 2008
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tom McCoag
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


AMHERST - Ricky Logan Simpson, the Maccan-area man who says he has
found the cure for cancer in a marijuana oil he produces, is expected
to plead guilty to his latest drug-trafficking charge - but not for
another couple of weeks.

Mr. Simpson, 58, was expected to enter a plea to the charge in
provincial court Thursday, but he appeared without his lawyer, Duncan
Beveridge, who couldn't make the trip to Amherst because he was
preparing for a Supreme Court jury trial in Halifax.

Mr. Beveridge asked the court in a letter to postpone Mr. Simpson's
arraignment on the trafficking charge and said his client planned to
plead guilty when he was next in court.

Crown prosecutor Monica MacQueen didn't object to the delay, and Judge
Carole Beaton set March 17 as the date for his next appearance.

The latest charge was laid by Amherst police last December as Mr.
Simpson left a Supreme Court hearing in Amherst to set a date for
sentencing on three drug charges that a jury had convicted him on the
previous September.

Earlier this month, Supreme Court Justice Felix Cacchione sentenced
Mr. Simpson on those charges, fining him $2,000 and sentencing him to
one day in jail - served through his time in court - for unlawfully
producing marijuana and possession for the purpose of

The third charge of possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana was

The original charges against Mr. Simpson stemmed from an Aug. 3, 2005,
raid by the RCMP on his property on Little Forks Road. The raid netted
1,190 plants that a police marijuana expert said would yield 83,300
grams of usable marijuana that would take a heavy user more than 76
years to smoke.

Justice Cacchione said Mr. Simpson truly believed the paste he made
and gave away cured diseases like cancer. He said that Mr. Simpson,
unlike any other trafficker he had seen in his years on the bench, did
not grow marijuana or make his hemp paste to gain a profit.

Mr. Simpson admitted during his five-day Supreme Court trial that he
grew marijuana on his property and turned it into a paste that he said
cured a variety of ailments. He also told the court that he
distributed the oil free of charge to about 300 people who wanted his

About 30 of his followers applauded the sentence, although some said
they felt he should have been given a complete discharge.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin