The New Brunswick Court of Appeal rejected Thursday a Saint John woman’s argument that she was running a “compassion club” for medicinal marijuana users.
However, the province’s high court will still consider Lynn Wood’s appeal of her marijuana trafficking conviction, albeit on other grounds.
Lynn Wood was convicted in February 2005 of trafficking marijuana, and was sentenced to a term of one year in prison.
The trial judge said she was running a sham compassion club because she sold marijuana to a teenager and an undercover police officer.
Wood’s lawyer, Margaret Gallagher, appealed on the grounds that there are no rules for compassion clubs in Canada.
The three judges of the appeal court threw that argument out Thursday.
The judges said the lawyer for the Crown did not even need to respond to it.
The federal justice department was so concerned that the appeal could have an impact on medicinal marijuana laws that it sent a lawyer to intervene.
The judges’ decision meant the federal lawyer did not even have to put forward an argument.
The judges, however, will consider another aspect of Wood’s appeal: that the trial judge failed to give sufficient reasons for convicting her of trafficking.
The judges will also consider whether she can serve her one-year sentence out of jail.
Wood has been ordered to reappear before the appeal court on June 20.
Wood remains free on bail.
Previous article from www.cbc.ca
N.B. appeal court reserves decision in marijuana compassion club case
FREDERICTON (CP) – New Brunswick’s Court of Appeal has reserved judgement in the case of a woman who claims she was a compassion club operator, not a drug trafficker.
Lynn Wood of Saint John, N.B., has had her bail extended until June when she will find out whether her efforts to stay out of jail on a drug trafficking conviction have been successful.
While the decision was reserved, Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau made it clear the court does not accept the argument that Wood’s Cannabis Cafe was a compassion club where marijuana was sold and used by patrons for medicinal purposes.
Drapeau says arguments about medical use of marijuana do not apply in trafficking cases. He says the trial judge in Wood’s case found that she was selling marijuana to all comers for profit.
Wood, a marijuana activist, was convicted last year of trafficking in marijuana and sentenced to a year in jail despite her claim that the Cannabis Cafe was a compassion club that sold pot only for medicinal purposes.
She served 29 days in jail before being released by a Fredericton judge so she could give birth to her fourth child at home.
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