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AB:Senior pot transporter handed 12-month jail term

by papapuff » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:56 pm

Calgary Herald

Senior pot transporter handed 12-month jail term

Published on: September 6, 2017

Transporting more than 83 pounds of pot across the country for what he claimed was medicinal marijuana use has landed a B.C. man a one-year jail term.

Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Craig Jones on Wednesday said some custody was warranted for John Dale Brown.

Defence counsel Cary Rodin had argued Brown’s unique circumstances were enough to warrant a non-custodial suspended sentence and probation, but Jones said that would send out the wrong message.

“I believe it is necessary to impose a custodial sentence to acknowledge the harm done,” Jones said.

The judge also said he still had some concerns Brown himself may not be deterred from offending again, since he remains adamant he was transporting the drugs to Toronto from B.C. to provide to medical users.

“It is important to remember that Mr. Brown in possession of 83 1/2 pounds of marijuana,” Jones said.

“Mr. Brown claims he will not risk breaking the law again,” the judge said.

“Based on the presentence report and the (psychiatric) report I am somewhat, but not completely satisfied, that Mr. Brown has been deterred.”

Brown, 68, was arrested on April 9, 2013, by Mounties near Lake Louise.

He had been stopped on the Trans-Canada Hwy. for following a semi-trailer too closely when an officer noticed the smell of raw marijuana.

Brown, a medical marijuana user himself for arthritis pain, claimed he was transporting the drugs to Toronto to provide to those who needed the drug there.

“I disbelieved Mr. Brown’s explanation for his purpose,” Jones said, of the offender’s ongoing insistence he was doing it for a benevolent purpose.

“I’m not therefore prepared to reject a custodial sentence on alleged altruistic (reasons),” said Jones, who convicted Brown of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Jones said a suspended sentence and probation wouldn’t satisfy the need to denounce Brown’s conduct and deter others from similar behaviour.

The drugs had a street value of nearly $380,000.
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