HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Different Take On Marijuana
Pubdate: Fri, 06 Feb 2004
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Marshall Jones


There are few dull moments when provincial court Judge Don Sperry moves to 
Kelowna from his bench in the Kootenays.

The straight-talking judge from Castlegar makes sporadic trips to Kelowna 
to relieve other judges and preside over matters where local judges might 
be in conflict.

On Thursday morning, Sperry entertained an application from a woman who 
wanted, among other things, judicial approval to smoke marijuana.

"Guess what, if you were dealing with Don Sperry the individual I'd say go 
for it," Sperry said.

"I'm from the Kootenays and I never saw someone tear up a bar who was high 
on dope. As an individual I'd say if you want to smoke dope, go get a bong 
as big as a melon and smoke your brains out.

"But guess what? I am not Don Sperry, the individual, I am Don Sperry, the 
judge. If you don't have a medical exemption, you don't get to smoke dope 
and break the law."

The applicant said she wanted permission because she has an eating disorder.

She sought Sperry's approval to stop attending Narcotics Anonymous.

She said she is still trying to go clean but finds herself being influenced 
to relapse by others in the program.

Sperry said he has never known that program to work unless the applicant 
enters voluntarily so he let her off the hook.
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