Renee Boje, who was arrested in July 1997 during a bust at Todd McCormick’s medical “marijuana mansion” in California, continues her fight to avoid extradition from Canada to the US, where she could face a lengthy prison term for charges of cultivation, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and possession (see CC#23, Pot refugee’s extradition hearing). Todd McCormick grew marijuana for research purposes and to treat a rare form of bone marrow cancer which he has had since childhood. Also charged in conjunction with the raid was Peter McWilliams, who lives with AIDS.
McCormick and McWilliams pled guilty to charges of cultivation in early December. McCormick and McWilliams sentencing hearing is on February 28. McWilliams is out on bail and McCormick went back into custody in late December, due to a violation of his probation. Boje had offered to turn herself over to American authorities in November if charges were dropped against Peter McWilliams.
“He could die if he spends time in jail,” said Boje. “I would be betraying everything I believe in if I did not do whatever I could to save Peter.”
Meanwhile, others arrested during the raid have cut deals with the US attorney’s office in return for promises to testify against Boje, whose case has become a high-profile headache for US drug-war promoters.
“All I know is that it got them less time,” Boje whispered. “I am not holding it against them because I intend to win my case, and I don’t want to see them in jail.”
On December 15 and 21, 1999, justice Michael Catliff considered the final arguments in Renee Boje’s extradition hearing. The prosecution called a “police expert”, Detective Constable Lowes, to testify that the presence of 4,116 plants at McCormick’s medical marijuana mansion meant that Boje must have been trafficking. Lowes testified that 4,116 plants would produce 938,428 joints? if the joints weighed two grams each.
“Those would be phatties,” expounded the police expert. “One could get stoned for 24 hours on a phattie, my lord.”
Lowes also testified that it was human nature to profit from that large amount of plants, and therefore Boje must have been intending to profit from them, despite the fact that it wasn’t even her grow operation. John Conroy pointed out that the amount of plants was in keeping with the kind of genetic research being done at McCormick’s residence.
Renee Boje awaits Judge Catliff’s decision.
? You can help Boje’s legal expenses by buying one of her “Cannabis Certificates”for a $25 donation to her legal defence fund. Each certificate is redeemable for 1/4 ounce of marijuana when cannabis is legal in Canada. To buy a certificate, send $25 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Renee Boje, PO Box 1557, Gibsons BC, Canada, V0N 1V0; tel (604) 886-3153; email: [email protected]; website www.thecompassionclub.org/renee
? You can also help Renee by writing affidavits and / or letters of support for Renee to the Canadian Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan. Affidavit writers could win a trip to Ottawa to be one of the expert witnesses at Renee’s trial once she reaches the Supreme Court of Canada. Address these to Renee’s lawyer, John Conroy, at his address below.
? John Conroy: 2459 Pauline St, Abbotsford, BC, V2S 3S1