American citizen jailed in Canada on a 30 year old cannabis charge

On September 19th, 2003 Ilene Schecter was seized at the Peace Arch Border Crossing when entering into Canada on a 30 year old Canadian Cannabis Charge.
Ilene Schecter, an American citizen, was arrested in Canada 1970 for bringing roughly a kilo of marijuana into Canada. At that time, Ilene declared herself to be a member of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, and that the marijuana was her sacrament.

A religious legal defense was not permitted, and Ilene served 14 months of a 24 month sentence, before escaping while on a Day Pass in 1973.

Now Schecter is back in a Canadian prison, 30 years later, with the same defense. Less than a year was left on the original warrant for Schecter’s arrest, and likely by today’s standards the 14 months served would be a considerably harsh sentence.

The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church was chartered by the Queen of England and the government of Jamaica in 1976, and claims to have used ganja (marijuana) for their sacrament for many generations. They use ganja for divine worship and prayer.

Ilene Schecter has lived a quiet life for 30 years as a working mother of two, and continues to live her life according to the doctrine she adopted in 1971. She is currently being held at the Burnaby Correction Center for Women.

For more information:

Ilene Schecter’s husband Gary: 954-242-5639

Watch an interview with Gary Schecter on Pot-TV: