Mike Patriquen, Canadian cannabis activist with permission from the federal government to grow and use medicinal marijuana, has been sentenced to jail for marijuana offenses and is being denied his medicine while behind bars.
Patriquen, 49, founded and lead the Nova Scotia Marijuana Party, published the activist newspaper Hempworks, and helped found Canada’s federal Marijuana Party. He is also one of hundreds of “Section 56 exemptees” with permission directly from Health Canada to use and grow medicinal buds. Patriquen smokes marijuana to relieve the pain of a spinal cord injury suffered during a near-fatal car crash in 1999.
His wife, Melanie Patriquen, is also an activist, and ran as a candidate with the Marijuana Party in the federal and provincial elections of 2000 and 2001.
After spending millions on a marijuana investigation that involved phone wiretaps, bugs in his home, and GPS trackers in his car, RCMP found no marijuana in his Nova Scotian home, no marijuana in his car and no marijuana on his person. Regardless, in 2000 Patriquen was bullied into pleading guilty to marijuana charges and convicted . Now that he is in jail, cops want to seize his home and everything his family owns.
Before being incarcerated in September, Patriquen argued that he should be allowed to use his legally prescribed medicinal marijuana while in jail, or else be given house arrest. Canadian courts have ruled that a prisoner being denied access to legally prescribed medicine is a violation of their rights. Yet Justice Hood ruled that Patriquen couldn’t challenge his being denied his marijuana medicine in advance. He would have to go to prison first, and then launch the challenge to get access to his medicinal marijuana from there. Patriquen received a six-year sentence (CC Online, Nova Scotia Marijuana Party leader gets 6 years).
As of this writing, after two months in jail Patriquen remains still the first and only inmate in Canada ever to be deprived of medicine prescribed by his doctor.
We will be running a longer article about Patriquen’s history and situation in our next issue.