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Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Sat, 03 Mar 2001
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Address: 333 King St. E., Toronto, Ontario M5A 3X5 Canada
Fax: (416) 947-3228
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/
Forum: http://www.canoe.ca/Chat/newsgroups.html
Author: Michael Clement
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)

MEDICINAL MARIJUANA MAN BURNED

150 Plants Seized

AIDS activist Jim Wakeford was charged last night with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

The charges came as a "total shock" after lawyers for Wakeford, 56, argued yesterday before the Ontario Court of Appeal, that his caregivers should be granted immunity from prosecution until Ottawa introduces a system that supplies safe pot.

He was also seeking a legal supply of marijuana that he and 170 other Canadians are legally entitled to grow and use.

"This is no way to treat a dying man," Wakeford told The Sun, as four police officers removed 150-200 marijuana plants from a farm in the village of Udora, near Uxbridge.

Wakeford, who has had full-blown AIDS since 1993, was contacted by York Police at his Toronto apartment at 5:30 p.m. yesterday after spending the day in court.

SEARCH WARRANT

They asked to meet him at a farm house he recently rented in Udora for the purpose of growing marijuana for himself and other people with exemptions from prosecution.

When he met police at the farm, they presented him with a search warrant.

"And it states that I have cannabis marijuana plants in excess of the number allowed by exemption," he said.

The long-time activist said police "agreed to leave me seven plants of my choice."

And he accused cops of stealing the rest.

"They're stealing my medicine," he said.

He hopes to establish the Farmer Jim Society, a registered charity that will grow and distribute marijuana, herbs and vegetables to people with catastrophic illness.

"This is a setback and it sucks, but I'm alive and I'll survive this," he said.

Wakeford invited the police to visit his farm "because I wanted them to know what I'm doing. I told him that ... these plants are being grown for people with exemptions, people suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS."

He's set to appear in court April 4.

In January, all of Wakeford's marijuana plants in Toronto were confiscated by police.

Marijuana exemptee Alison Myrden said Wakeford, like all disability pensioners, are struggling to make ends meet on a $900 monthly pension and spending thousands of dollars to buy or grow marijuana.

"We simply cannot afford it and marijuana has proven to be the safest and best pain reliever for them," Myrden, 37, said. "I was taking 32 pills and they were destroying my liver because my body was so full of toxins.
Marijuana is safe and offers me relief," Myrden said. She has suffered with MS since her teens.
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Distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager


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