Pubdate: Thu, 26 Jan 2017
Source: Packet & Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Orillia Packet and Times
Author: Andrew Philips
Page: A1


Two Oro-Medonte men were arrested this week for growing marijuana,
despite having a licence to grow

Angered over an "unjust" police raid over medicinal marijuana, two
Oro-Medonte men feel victimized after being arrested at their home and
taken away in handcuffs.

"We're two sick and injured people who were taken to jail," Christian
Gadsden, 36, said Wednesday outside the Orillia OPP detachment, a day
after police raided the Line 13 home he shares with Larry Parisien.

"It was scary, incredibly scary," said the 62-year-old Parisien,
adding he suffers from a range of ailments including fibromyalgia and
has been prescribed medicinal marijuana for close to seven years.

"There were at least six or seven cops there ... all

Although still upset with the police, Gadsden said he and Parisien are
particularly angry with the Hydro One employee who was on the property
earlier in the week and noticed a pot plant growing in the front window.

"Clearly, if you're a criminal, you're not going to have it right in
the open," said Gadsden, who pointed out he has been legally allowed
to have medicinal marijuana since 2012 and also suffered a serious
back injury a year-and-a-half ago. "For guys like us, that are open
about it, this was really disheartening."

No charges are pending against the duo at this time.

According to Gadsden, the power company worker who visited their
property eventually notified police, who obtained a search warrant for
their home and property authorized by a Barrie-based justice of the

"Hydro One staff were very apologetic and offered us a month's
credit," Gadsden said, noting they also now have a trespass order
against Hydro One employees that means the utility must provide
written notice and get approval before venturing onto the property

But the situation could have been even worse, according to Gadsden,
noting they were lucky his sevenyear-old daughter, Olivia, wasn't
visiting at the time since police likely would have alerted the
Children's Aid Society during the arrest.

As well, Gadsden said, while they were completely compliant and didn't
resist arrest, being handcuffed could have caused more injuries.

"The officers were generally nice; they had to do what they had to
do," he said, adding the raid opened up their home life to others.
"Now there's a risk to us in the community."

Hydro One did not return a request for comment by press

Orillia OPP Const. Martin Hill said while he couldn't comment
specifically on this instance since it's "an open investigation,"
police always maintain a strict protocol when making drug arrests
because they don't know what they might encounter.

"Officer safety is our No. 1 priority because we're people, too, and
we have children that we want to go home (to) and we don't take any
risks when it comes to that stuff, but we are very

"The officers involved are some of the most professional in the
province. They would have, 100%, guaranteed, acted professional during
the whole incident."
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