Pubdate: Wed, 24 Jan 2018
Source: Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Gordon Paul
Page: A1


Cambridge man back at courthouse smoking pot - this time fully clothed

KITCHENER - Jeffrey Shaver, the Cambridge man famous for his
bong-smoking nearly naked protests across Waterloo Region, has been

The professional standards branch of Waterloo Regional Police has
ruled officers unlawfully arrested, searched and detained him after he
smoked medical marijuana in front of the Cambridge police station on
Oct. 22, 2016.

Shaver, 31, fired up a bong that day to protest a charge of marijuana
possession laid on Oct. 20. On both days Shaver showed regional police
officers his documents for medical marijuana. Both times he was
charged with possession.

In an official complaint, Shaver said police were wrong to charge him
twice with pot possession and claimed there was no legal justification
for being handcuffed, searched and detained for 16 hours on Oct. 22.
He alleged the actions amounted to excessive force.

Following an investigation, the professional standards branch ruled
Shaver was legally authorized to have marijuana and concluded the Oct.
22 arrest, search and detention of Shaver were unlawful.

"Because there was no lawful authority to arrest the complainant, the
use of force is considered unlawful and/or unnecessary by definition,"
says the report, which Shaver received earlier this month.

On Oct. 20, 2016, Shaver was arrested for trespassing at Cambridge
Memorial Hospital. A search of his backpack found pot. Shaver showed
officers his documents for medical marijuana but he was charged with
possession and had a bong and pot seized.

On both Oct. 20 and 22, officers wrongly believed Shaver needed Health
Canada documents to prove he was legally allowed to smoke pot, the
report says.

They didn't know that in 2014, Health Canada documents were replaced
by documents from licensed producers, which Shaver had.

The officers said they received no formal training on medical pot
issues, the report says.

"The respondent officers cited a lack of current education surrounding
the subject of lawful marijuana possession, leading them to mistakenly
believe that Health Canada continued to be the only issuer of
documentation in support of legal marijuana possession," the report
says of the Oct. 22 arrest.

"This mistaken belief factored significantly into the complainant's
unlawful arrest, detention, drug possession charge and seizure of his

The professional standards branch concluded Shaver's allegations of
misconduct by several officers were proven but said the misconduct is
"of a less serious nature."

He can appeal the "less serious" finding before any disciplinary
action is handed out.

Several other allegations made by Shaver were not proven by the
professional standards branch's investigation.

Shaver was at the Kitchener courthouse on Tuesday for the Cambridge
hospital trespassing charge. After the matter was put off, he lit his
bong in the smoking area. He smokes marijuana to treat anxiety,
depression and back pain.

Shaver said he plans to ask the Office of the Independent Police
Review Director to review the branch's findings. He believes a review
could find more misconduct.

He has also launched a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario case seeking
$150,000 for being unlawfully arrested and having his medication, the
marijuana, taken. Named in the case are regional police, the chief,
the police board and the provincial Crown, he said.

Shaver is also fighting Grand River Transit. He says it won't let him
smoke medical pot in smoking areas.

Shaver became instantly famous last August after protesting in
Speedo-style underwear while smoking a bong in front of the Kitchener
courthouse. He demanded police return his bong and pot from the Oct.
20, 2016, arrest. Media around the world picked up on the story. The
bong and pot were returned a few months ago.

Shaver took his protests a step further last September when he wore
only a thong in front of the courthouse and was charged with public
nudity. That charge is still before the courts. As a result of the
charge, he has been ordered to be clothed "from neck to knee" while on
courthouse property, Shaver said.

On Tuesday, he wore a winter jacket and pants.

"No Speedo today," he said, adding that if the weather warms up he may
break out the skimpy underwear or thong - and, of course, the bong -
to protest the nudity charge.

"Just not at the courthouse," he said.

And, yes, people ask him "all the time" if they can take a hit from
his bong. He always says no.

"I tell them to speak to their doctor."
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MAP posted-by: Matt