Toronto Hemp Company

Newshawk: CMAP
Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jan 2004
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Gretchen Drummie
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Compassion Centre Pair Cleared

The Crown has withdrawn pot charges against two former directors of the Toronto Compassion Centre, which supplies medicinal marijuana to 1,200 ill clients. The prosecutor withdrew the charges against Warren Hitzig and Zachary Naftolin yesterday -- 17 months after they were laid and the day their trial was to start. The two were elated.

But defence lawyer Paul Burstein said the charges should've been dropped long ago and the fact they weren't shows "callous disregard to the people who were doing the government's job for them in supplying sick people with marijuana."

The charges included possession of marijuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of the proceeds of crime arising out of an August 2002 raid of a Bathurst St. location.

Lawyer Joseph Neuberger said this is a "small victory" in the war for medicinal pot

Hitzig also said this "opens up the gates if people want to fight for their right to possess to distribute medicinal marijuana."

He said it was "vindictive of the government just to go after us with no purpose except to get us off the street because they were pissed off that we were doing the right thing."

Hitzig was one of the applicants who successfully challenged Canada's medical marijuana regulations in court. The lawyers noted Hitzig was charged not long after he launched the civil action in 2002.

Despite a ruling last fall that called on Ottawa to license compassion clubs, Health Canada has restricted people from providing more than one authorized user with pot.

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