I spent the better part of today at the John Sopinka Court House in Hamilton, Ontario. We arrived first thing and sat until about noon when Chris Goodwin came out. His accumulated charges are: possession of marijuana; breach of recognizance x 2; and two new charges of selling instruments for illegal substances.
Chris had asked the Judge for Bail today but the response was “It would take too long with all of the information needed” and if they started a Bail hearing in front of me, “it would take weeks to complete”. Chris will stay in jail over the weekend, and Peter Bouchy will be with him in Court when Chris goes back for Bail on Wednesday.
Chris Lawson’s Bail was tough. Levy, the Crown attorney, wanted to make an example out of him BADLY, at first. This was a first offense for Chris Lawson, retired Elementary School Principal, former 7th Day Adventist Priest, retired Taxi cab driver and recovering Cancer patient, but the Crown didn’t like it.
Chris spoke of his inability to get a license to smoke marijuana, of his job at the “Up in Smoke Cafe”, his position at “Cannabis Culture Magazine” as a paid writer and his love of the plant. The Judge then responded that Chris wasn’t going to be allowed to write for Cannabis Culture Magazine anymore.
Bouchy then asked if Chris could live with the conditions so far? Chris in turn answered “yes” and asked that he be able to have someone pick up his things that were left at the Cafe. Levy quickly changes the subject shooting redundant, rhetorical, sophomoric questions at him: “You believe Marijuana should be legal don’t you?” “You’re addicted aren’t you?” “You like the feeling you get!” To which Chris responded “Absolutely not!”
Levy went on to talk about boundaries and the areas Chris is to avoid… The Judge then broke in and stated “We don’t need to go further with this! I am well aware of the purpose of the Up in Smoke Cafe. We know this behavior is taking place…”
Chris Lawson was then asked if he had a medical exemption to smoke marijuana. He responded he did not. Levy calls back “If you don’t have a card – you can’t do it!” Then Chris blurts out “Chris Goodwin says the Up In Smoke Cafe stands for a place to Harness the Cannabis Culture and turn it in to a Political Organization.” Levy grumbles something and turns his back…
Levy had a problem with Chris Lawson, as he said Chris Lawson would have been let out a day earlier but supposedly refused to sign the paperwork saying he would stay away from the Cafe. During questioning this came up. Chris stated he did NOT say that and that he lived only doors away from the place he was suppose to avoid, so this condition would be difficult NOT to Breach. Bouchy went on to question Chris Lawson some more.
The Judge commented that he was more than familiar with the “Up in Smoke” and that we “didn’t know him”. I am sorry I didn’t catch his name. Levy went on, “It’s your intention to smoke marijuana either way?” Chris responded “I’ll let the Courts decide”.
“The fact that you don’t have an exemption hasn’t stopped you?” Levy yelled. Chris responded, he could get it “with a Doctor’s signature”…
“You don’t like Police because they enforce marijuana Laws? Did you take part in the Up In Smoke rally in April?” Chris answered “Yes I did. It was an act of Civil Disobedience”.
Levy retorted “So you don’t believe the Law applies to you? Your Activism shows you are not abiding by the Law.” The Judge quickly interjects “Why are we arguing philosophical issues?’ To which Chris Lawson responded “I don’t agree with it but I will have to abide by it.”
Chris Lawson’s conditions are as follows: No Rallies. Not to go within 200 meters of the “Up in Smoke Cafe”. Not to associate with Chris Goodwin, Stephanie Spicer, John Anderson, Adam Glover, Davin Christenson and Matt Mernagh. No drug paraphernalia, marijuana magazines, or marijuana instruments for ANY cannabis related products. Not knowingly allowed on premises where the use, or promotion of cannabis products, is encouraged or permitted.
Chris Lawson received an order for $1,000.00 Bail to be released on his own recognizance. First mistake or Breach, he’s back in Jail immediately.
I believe next Court Date for both of these guys is: Wednesday August 2, 2006 9 a.m.
Love and stuff,