Watch Above: Medical marijuana users are calling on police to stop investigating those who use the product after charges against a man and his wife were dropped. Ray Bradshaw reports.
HALIFAX – Medical marijuana users are calling on Halifax police to stop investigating people who need and use the product.
Bob Dillman injured his back and the medication he was prescribed destroyed his immune system. He says he gets some relief from using cannabis and a strict diet. He had a federal exemption to use cannabis, but it expired in February 2014.
Dillman and his wife were charged with possession of cannabis in early March 2015, but those charges have now been dropped.
“His exemption expired at a time when Health Canada was no longer completing renewals, despite the fact that his physicians still supported his medical cannabis use,” said Debbie Stultz-Giffin, the chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana (MUMM).
She said 20,000 other Canadians are in the same situation as Dillman, who said he had no choice but to continue to grow his own plants due to financial reasons.
“I only get about $1482 a month and if I follow these laws, I have to pay $1,500 a month for my medication,” he said.
The new law that came into effect on April 1, 2014 allows a few people to grow their own marijuana, but most have to buy it through Health Canada. Police raided Dillman’s Dartmouth residence on March 4, confiscating 18 plants and his equipment.
“This is a law that made me a criminal,” said Dillam. “I know because I’m a former corrections officer.”
The charges against Dillman were dropped this week. Dillman said the Crown claimed the evidence was an issue.
“I’m going to hold the cops accountable, whether it’s publicly or legally,” said Dillman. “I’m going to get a lawyer because I’m going to get my property back.”
Dillman said he’s now forced to get cannabis though the black market. Stultz-Giffin said she wants the provincial government to ask police to stop going after people who must use medicinal marijuana.
“It’s time to stop arresting patients and to stop forcing us to choose between our health and our liberty,” she said, “It’s a huge waste of taxpayers’ dollars.”
Police said if they receive a complaint they will continue to investigate.
“Searches would be conducted and if that person was found to be in possession of illegal drugs, we would have to take appropriate action,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Lauren Leal.