HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Trafficker Has Big Heart
Pubdate: Sat, 09 Aug 2008
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tom McCoag
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Amherst-Area Man Asks That His $2,000 Fine Go To Charity

AMHERST - A drug trafficker who believes he's found the cure for 
cancer in marijuana wants his $2,000 fine to go to a good cause.

"Since I am paying this fine for the heinous crime of saving lives, I 
think I should have a say as to where the money goes," Rick Simpson 
said in a July 27 letter sent to officials at the Justice Centre in 
Amherst. Mr. Simpson made the letter public Friday.

"Far too much money goes missing in our system every day with no 
accountability. With this in mind, I ask that this money be given to 
the Salvation Army."

He chose the Salvation Army because they "are about the only 
organization that is really doing any good for the people."

Mr. Simpson also made it clear that he does not want his fine being 
donated to the Canadian Cancer Society because he believes they are 
not really trying to find a cure for cancer.

Mr. Simpson said he made the request to have the fine turned over to 
a charity because he had learned that it had become common practice 
for judges in Amherst to direct people to pay their fines to 
charitable organizations. He did not say where he got that information.

"I ask to be provided with a copy of the receipt from them (the 
Salvation Army). This way I will know where the money was sent," Mr. 
Simpson said.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sherri Aikenhead said she could not 
recall any previous request for a fine to be directed to a charity, 
nor has it ever been a practice for the courts to direct any fine to a charity.

"We expect all fines to be paid to the attorney general," she said in 
a telephone interview.

The fine then goes into the province's coffers.

"His request is not going to happen," she said.

Mr. Simpson was handed the fine last February by Justice Felix 
Cacchione as part of a sentence he received for producing marijuana 
and possessing less than three kilograms of tetrahydrocannabinol for 
the purpose of trafficking. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the 
active compound in marijuana.

He was also sentenced to one day in jail, considered served by his 
appearance in court, and given six months to pay the fine.

The sentence was handed down five months after a Nova Scotia Supreme 
Court jury found Mr. Simpson guilty of the charges following a 
five-day trial in September 2007.

The charges stemmed from an RCMP raid on his Little Forks Road 
property on Aug. 3, 2005, that netted 1,190 marijuana plants. Mr. 
Simpson admitted at trial to growing marijuana on his property and 
using it to create an oil that he claims cures everything from 
cankers to cancer. He gave the oil away to about 300 people.

It was the first of two convictions Mr. Simpson had for trafficking. 
A second one followed a couple of months later when he pleaded guilty 
plea to giving an Amherst woman some of his marijuana oil. He was 
sentenced to eight days in jail, considered served by the four days 
he spent in jail waiting trial on the second charge.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom