HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Medical Marijuana Grower Shot During Attempted Theft Of
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Oct 2006
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Ian Elliot, The Kingston Whig-Standard


Pair Posed As Police To Gain Access To House Where Drug Was Grown

A man shot during a home invasion is recovering in a Kingston 
hospital today, while the OPP search for the men who posed as police 
officers in order to steal his medicinal marijuana.

Police said the homeowner was shot after two men barged into his home 
near Portland, 90 kilometres south of Ottawa, about 7 a.m. Friday. 
They were wearing jackets that said "police" on the back, and had a 
pistol. When the homeowner realized what was happening, he fought 
back and was shot.

The intruders apparently wanted to steal the man's medicinal 
marijuana plants, which the resident had a federal permit to grow, 
said OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae. Police did not say whether they got what 
they were looking for.

Although the thieves are still at large, the police did not notify 
the public about the crime for three days, which Sgt. Rae blamed on a 
"lack of communication" among officers.

She was out of town, and is the officer responsible for media 
releases. She said it was "unfortunate" the information wasn't released Friday.

The victim was taken to Smiths Falls General Hospital, then 
transferred to Kingston General Hospital, where police say he is in 
stable condition.

The thieves fled in a newer model grey or blue Jeep Cherokee. Both 
were described as being in their early 20s. One was described as 
about six feet tall with dark hair, wearing jeans with holes in the 
knees and a light jacket. The second man was shorter than the first 
and had a heavier build and was wearing a dark jacket.

Medicinal marijuana advocate Mike Foster, who grew up in Napanee and 
Kingston and went on to co-found the Marijuana Party of Canada, said 
such cases are rare, but point to the dangers of having people grow 
their own marijuana for medical reasons.

The government no longer directly supplies the drug to patients with 
prescriptions --used to relieve things like chronic pain or nausea -- 
but allows them to grow their own or designate someone else to grow 
it for them.

Mr. Foster says users can be put in danger if other people find out 
about their supply.

"Home invasions can occur, and that's why it's so important to keep 
the identity of the people with these permits absolutely secret," he said.

But, he said, in the country, people tend to know more about their 
neighbours and it is more difficult to keep something like that under wraps.

"The biggest threat is still getting arrested for it, but home 
invasions are a concern, also," he said.
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