Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jan 2016
Source: Truro Daily News (CN NS)
Copyright: 2016 The Daily News
Author: Harry Sullivan
Page: 2


A criminal conviction for simple marijuana possession would be
"unfair" and "cruel" punishment given the federal government's stated
intention to legalize the drug, a judge said Monday.

"I cannot sit here and not be aware of the position taken by the
federal government in Ottawa ..." Judge Warren Zimmer said, during
sentencing of a Bible Hill man charged with marijuana possession.

"It would be cruel to sentence him in such a way today that he would
wind up with a criminal record," Zimmer said, adding it "would be very
unfair" under the circumstances to render a conviction that could
hamper the man's ability to earn a living and support his two
children, after the Trudeau government had said it is planning to
proceed with legalization of marijuana.

Michael LeBlanc, 26, of 18 Village Ct., Bible Hill, was charged last
March with 650 grams of marijuana "shake" that defence lawyer Al Begin
said he used for medicinal purposes.

Begin said his client's doctor acknowledged LeBlanc would make a good
candidate for a medical marijuana license but he would not issue it
because it goes against the physician's personal beliefs.

LeBlanc received a conditional discharge along with six months
probation and a $500 donation to the Truro Boys and Girls Club, as
recommended by his lawyer. He was also given a $100 victim surcharge

Zimmer went on to say that he would be inclined to sentence LeBlanc
the same way "even if Parliament had not made not those

But he also warned LeBlanc that the drug is still illegal and
"possession of marijuana is off the books for you, so to speak,"
unless he were to make proper arrangements to obtain a medicinal
license for its use.

"You've gone about it the wrong way by having your own supply
available to you," Zimmer said.
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