Iqaluit marijuana activist Ed Devries was released from police custody Monday after RCMP raided two local residences late last week.
Devries, 51, a self-described healer and founder of the Qikiqtaaluk Compassion Society, was arrested after RCMP found 0.9 kilograms of marijuana and $7,200 in cash in a search of his home and the Iqaluit marijuana club on Friday afternoon.
He was charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.
Devries’s release from custody, which came with a number of conditions, drew applause from about 40 supporters at the Nunavut Court of Justice on Monday afternoon.
‘Made things better’
The Qikiqtaaluk Compassion Society dispenses medical marijuana to more than 400 members in Nunavut, Devries’s lawyer said in court.
“We just got tired of people getting ripped off by drug dealers all over the city and smoking crappy weed,” Mark Fauchon, a founding member of the society, told CBC News outside the Iqaluit courthouse.
“So Ed came up with an idea: he cut the price and he made things better for everybody.”
Devries said he plans to fight the charges, as he said they violate his rights and freedoms on the premise that there is no reasonable access to medical marijuana in Nunavut.
Charged last year
Devries, who served jail time in 2006 for drug trafficking, was also charged last year with four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The four charges are still before the court.
“We don’t want him to go away again,” Devries’s wife, Ruth Devries, said outside court. “We love him and we want him home.”
In court Monday, Devries’s lawyer argued that her client poses no public threat and had tried to conform with Canada’s medical marijuana access regulations.
Crown prosecutors argued that Devries is likely to reoffend if he is released.
In the end, Devries was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to reappear in court on Feb. 15. He is barred from having any involvement with the Qikiqtaaluk Compassion Society in the meantime.
– Article from CBC News.