Pubdate: Tue, 18 Mar 2008
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tom McCoag


AMHERST - A Maccan-area man who says his hemp oil cures cancer was
sentenced Monday to eight days in jail after he pleaded guilty in
provincial court to trafficking the drug.

But Ricky Simpson, 58, won't spend any time behind bars because Judge
Carole Beaton said the time he spent in custody after his November
arrest was enough of a deterrent.

"If he and others do not get the message, after spending the
equivalent of eight days in jail, that trafficking is against the law,
I'm doubtful that adding 20 more days as suggested by the Crown would
be any more of a deterrent," Judge Beaton said Monday as she sentenced
Mr. Simpson on one charge of trafficking marijuana oil.

Outside court after his sentencing, Mr. Simpson reiterated his
intention to leave Canada. He said he can't live in a country that
persecutes and prosecutes him for believing that marijuana is a
miracle cure.

"I'm heading for South America," he said. "I'm looking at moving to
either Ecuador, Peru or Brazil. Those are countries where the
government won't prosecute me and where I can be free to make the
(marijuana) medication I require."

He said he will move as soon as he can sell his two

The trafficking charge was laid after a woman complained to Amherst
police that Mr. Simpson had dropped off a syringe full of hemp oil at
her home and asked her to give it to a relative who was using the drug
for medicinal purposes. The syringe was found to contain about five
millilitres of marijuana oil, the equivalent of a teaspoon.

His arrest came as he was awaiting sentencing on earlier charges of
producing marijuana and possessing less than three kilograms of
tetrahydrocannabinol for the purpose of trafficking.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main active ingredient in marijuana.

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury found Mr. Simpson guilty of those
charges in September and Justice Felix Cacchione sentenced him in
February to a $2,000 fine and one day in jail, considered served by
his appearance in court that day.

Mr. Simpson maintained during his Supreme Court trial that he grew the
marijuana on his property and turned it into hemp oil to give to more
than 300 patients who he strongly maintains were cured from a variety
of diseases ranging from cankers to cancer.

"Mr. Simpson is in an unusual position, because unlike other people
engaged in the drug trade, he was not engaged in trafficking for
financial gain," Judge Beaton said Monday. "He was engaged in an
altruistic activity and was firm in his belief that he was helping
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