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Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:43:20 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Five Months In Jail For Pot Promoter Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: 10 December 1998 Source: Edmonton Journal (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Edmonton Journal Author: Kerry Powell, Legal Affairs Writer
FIVE MONTHS IN JAIL FOR POT PROMOTER
Edmonton - Ken Kirk's crimes are too serious for him to avoid jail, even if it means cutting off the marijuana supply he says he needs, a judge said Wednesday.
Kirk, who says he smokes pot to control his epilepsy and other ailments, pleaded guilty to two counts each of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Provincial court Judge David Tilley said five months in jail was the best he could do in light of Kirk's medical difficulties.
He said Kirk's crimes were aggravated by the large amount of pot police seized from him, the fact he re-offended while on bail and because he sold to a minor.
Kirk isn't motivated by profit or greed, Tilley said. He only sells marijuana to make enough money to support his own habit.
According to his pre-sentence report, Kirk has been smoking about 0.6 grams of pot a day for the past 22 years. He says it helps control his epilepsy and other medical problems, including bipolar disorder and a chronic inflammation of his lower back.
As an advocate for legalization of marijuana, Kirk sees his crimes as a political statement, the judge noted, adding Kirk's psychological assessment showed he has little or no respect for the justice system.
"I'm not going to penalize him for his attitude and beliefs," Tilley said. "I do not make the laws. My sole function is to interpret and apply the laws."
Kirk, a self-proclaimed pope in the Church of the Reformed Druids, was first arrested Dec. 21, 1996, after a seven-gram sale. Police raided a residence occupied by 11 people, including four minors. They seized cash, customer lists, baggies, a scale and more than 300 grams of marijuana.
Kirk was on bail for the first charges when he was seen smoking a joint in the Old Strathcona area on Oct. 1, 1997, and arrested again. Police seized a pipe, 25 grams of marijuana in baggies and $15. One youth told police Kirk had sold a small quantity to him for that amount.
Tilley said the Crown's request for a nine-to-12-month sentence was too high and the defence lawyer's suggestion of a fine or parole was entirely inappropriate.
Tilley said he considered defence counsel's request for a sentence to be served on weekends but the longest intermittent term allowed is 90 days and that wasn't enough.
Dr. Reefer! - "He said Kirk's crimes were aggravated by the large amount of pot police seized from him, the fact he re-offended while on bail and because he sold to a minor." 1) 25 grams is not a large quantity of pot. 2)I was not on bail when I was busted. It was my first and only marijuana conviction. I'd only been busted for shoplifting many many years before in my youth. 3) I did not sell to a minor. I sold to an adult who was scoring for a minor. I had no idea he was scoring for as kid. He didn't get busted even though the kid told the cops that. 4)Judge Tilley never said that, the court record proves it.