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Marijuana charges stayed against B.C. man after scheduling difficulties in court system

Will residents be allowed to grow pot outdoors? Its' one of many decisions local councils across Canada will have to make by next summer. .
Will residents be allowed to grow pot outdoors? Its' one of many decisions local councils across Canada will have to make by next summer. . THE CANADIAN PRESS

It’s another case of charges stayed resulting from difficulty scheduling continuations and adjournments of various hearings in the B.C. court system.

A judge has ordered a stay of proceedings in three charges for Cowichan Valley resident Nicholas Christian Boehme.

In June 2013 he was charged with two counts of trafficking marijuana and one count of possession of more than three kilograms for the purpose of trafficking.

The charges stemmed from an online medical marijuana business he invested in.

Boehme’s lawyer Kirk Tousaw says, “For one reason or another it was difficult to schedule continuations and adjournments of various hearings.”

It’s been over five years since since he was charged and the trial was scheduled to begin in October, but the judge ruled that was too long.

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Tousaw says, “Everybody bears some responsibility to make sure these cases proceed more quickly through the criminal justice system. Because nobody really benefits from delays. The accused person has the criminal justice system on their backs for years and years.”

Tousaw says Boehme was open with Health Canada about his business, but getting documents from them was difficult and that was one of the causes of the delays.

“They wouldn’t voluntarily disclose the documents, we had to compel them to disclose documents related to Mr. Boehme and his meeting with high level Health Canada officials to discuss his business and how it operated.”

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada set hard limits on how long cases should take – 18 months in provincial courts and 30 months in Supreme Court.