HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Friend Grew Pot For Dying Man
Pubdate: Tue, 26 Oct 2004
Source: Northern Life (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Northern Life
Author: Keith Lacey
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Hepatitis)


A man who says he grew marijuana to help his dying friend was spared jail 
time Tuesday.

Ronald Cyr, 56, was sentenced to six months of house arrest. The only time 
he can leave his residence is to provide care for three family members 
suffering from serious health problems.

Cyr pleaded guilty to producing a substance after police raided his 
residence in Worthington, about 50 kilometres north of Sudbury, Dec. 4, 2001.

Police found 37 marjuana plants about three feet each in length, another 19 
plants under 12 inches and other items like scales, rolling papers and pipes.

Cyr's wife was also charged as was Gerald Langlois. All charges against 
Cyr's wife were dropped.

Langlois died from complications of Hepatitis C and diabetes while this 
matter was in the middle of a preliminary hearing.

Defence counsel Louis Sola told the court the Cyrs were friends with 
Langlois and were his primary caregivers after he moved in with them more 
than three years ago.

Langlois needed marijuana to relieve body cramps, increase his appetite and 
to sleep at night, said Sola.

Because Langlois had contracted Hepatitis C, his liver was damaged and 
prescription drugs were not effective, he said.

Cyr smoked marijuana to relieve his own stress and to ease the pain while 
recovering from a heart condition, he said.

The federal government promised a regular and safe supply for people like 
Langlois, but he was unsuccessful in getting a medical exemption. He then 
resorted to growing his own.

When he almost burned down his residence, the Cyrs agreed to grow some for 
him, said Sola.

"This was not a commercial was not made to make a profit or 
to sell...but out of compassion," he said.

Federal Crown prosecutor Nathalie Boivin said her office accepts the Cyrs 
were not making any profit and started the grow operation to help their friend.

However, "the law is the law" and there must be a punishment for people who 
grow marijuana in this quantity, she said.

There must be a deterrent aspect to any penalty imposed or more operations 
like this will continue to surface, she said.

After hearing all submissions, Justice Louise Gauthier of the Superior 
Court of Justice imposed a six-month conditional sentence against Cyr.

Cyr must report to a probation officer and accept any counseling as 
recommended, not consume any drugs not prescribed by a doctor, and not 
associate with any known drug user.

He will remain on probation for one year after his sentence is completed.
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