Dutch Deport Medical Marijuana User
The following appeared in the May 29 Toronto Star, and was taken from theirweb page at www.thestar.com.
The story also received coverage from Canadian Press, and a photo of Grantappeared in the Globe and Mail.
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Marijuana user returns after Dutch deport him
No chance to challenge Canada’s laws on pot
By Tracey Tyler – Toronto Star Legal Affairs Reporter
A 41-year-old Regina man who has been using marijuana to treat his multiplesclerosis symptoms says he may return to the country that deported him toface court proceedings.
Grant Krieger landed at Pearson International Airport on a charter flightfrom Holland yesterday, but was driven almost immediately to hospital afterhe was wheeled off the plane.
“Get me to a hospital,” he winced as his wife, Marie, leaned over toembrace him in a wheelchair.
Krieger had planned to return to Toronto Sunday, but was arrested and takeninto custody at the airport in Amsterdam for trying to export 900 grams ofmarijuana without proper documentation.
He and a friend had travelled to The Netherlands to buy the drug legallywith a doctor’s prescription. He was bringing it back to Canada to testwhether the criminal justice system would exempt chronically ill pot usersfrom federal narcotics laws.
Krieger says marijuana alleviates pain caused by the spasticitycharacteristic of his disease and allows him to walk without a cane.
But because he was deported empty-handed by Dutch authorities, he never gotthe chance to challenge Canadian law.
Krieger was charged with attempting to export marijuana without a permit,said his lawyer, Aaron Harnet.
He was deported because it appeared he had committed a crime, he had nomeans of supporting himself in Holland and no reason to stay, Harnett said.
He added that Krieger may return to face the court proceedings in the nexttwo months.
He said he drove Krieger, complaining of intense pain, to hospital inCambridge yesterday.
Doctors there were reluctant to give him painkillers, Harnett said, andsent him to the home of friends Sam Smith and Joan Harnack to sleep forseveral hours.
Last night, Smith said people who have been lobbying the federal governmentto legalize the drug estimate that at least $20 million a day can berecovered if it were taxed.
The estimate is based on a “voluntary contribution” that could be added tothe price of the 1 gram smoked by 10 per cent of the population each day,Smith said.
“Besides just the medicinal value, there are just a number of benevolentways this benign herb can bless those who choose to accept it,” Smith says.
Krieger said, “If things don’t change in this country, I won’t be livinghere much longer.
“When I got off the plane going to Amsterdam, I wasn’t in a bloody wheelchair.”