Why would a judge imprison for nine months “a kind, hard-working” 52-year-old rancher who is remorseful for growing marijuana to cover his family’s medical and other bills?
At a time when two American states allow possession and are creating retail distribution systems for pot, when four former B.C. attorneys general are calling for legalization, this sentence seems draconian.
More to the point, the B.C. Supreme Court justice gave short shrift to the fundamental principle that judges should avoid incarceration whenever possible, particularly for first-time offenders.
That’s primarily why disgraced ex-Mountie Monty Robinson received a conditional sentence for obstruction of justice in connection with the death of 21-year-old motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson.
In reasons released Monday, however, Justice Jeanne Watchuk said Jamie Ray Laird didn’t deserve a similar break.
He was jailed to deter organized criminals from Vancouver moving to the Cariboo to grow pot, although he bears little resemblance to such menaces.
– Read the entire article at the Vancouver Sun.