Reefer refugee Renee Boje is finally free. In 1998, Boje faced a 10 year mandatory minimum to life sentence in a US Federal Prison for her minor involvement in a well known medical marijuana and research garden owned by cancer patient and marijuana activist Todd McCormick and best selling author and Aids patient Peter McWilliams.
In 1998, fearing persecution over medical marijuana charges, Boje fled from the US to Canada on the advice of her lawyer. In 2001 Boje Married Canadian marijuana activist and author Chris Bennett and in 2002 she gave birth to their Canadian son, Shiva Sun Bennett.
Many had hoped that Boje’s marriage to a Canadian and the birth of her Canadian son would be enough for her to be allowed to stay in Canada and avoid the ten year sentencing she was facing in the US. But sadly through the decision of the same Justice Minister who allowed US authorities to raid Emery Seeds, this was not to be the case.
Boje lost her fight against US extradition when the Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler decided against her in 2005. Boje and her family were devastated by the decision because they were told by her lawyers that the Minister?s appeal was her best chance for winning her freedom in Canada and that there was a 99% chance she would lose her appeal in the higher courts with the current Conservative government in power.
Boje appealed Cotler’s decision and in that intervening period she received an offer from the US for a plea bargain and negotiations then were initiated between Boje’s Canadian lawyer John Conroy and Federal US Prosecutors in LA.
On August 10th Boje traveled to Los Angeles for an August 14th court date in which she pled guilty to possession of half of a gram of marijuana. Judge George H. King, who was the judge throughout the McCormick and McWilliams hearings, sentenced Boje to one year?s probation, giving her permission to reside in Canada with her family.
Boje returned to Canada on August 15th and Canadian officials almost denied her entry into Canada, but relented and let her stay for one week while a decision about her status was in the works at Immigration Canada.
In the end after a week of worrying she might be deported Canadian Immigration officials granted Boje a 6 month visitors permit, which will likely give her time to secure Canadian citizenship so she can remain in Canada permanently with her family.
– For further information refer to Boje?s website at: www.reneeboje.com
– Contact Renee Boje at [email protected]
– CC Forum discussion and updates will be posted here by the involved