Friday the 27th was set aside for over flow or procedural issues that had arisen during the first week. The first week being free of any issues or excess witnesses court was not in session on the fifth scheduled day of trial.
Monday the 2nd of March court reconvened to review 174 statements collected over the summer of 2014 by Jenn Bennett, Jason Wilcox and the Coalition. The manner in which these statements were entered into evidence was examined for roughly 45 minutes or so.
Mrs. Bennett who was updating via on-line while in the courtroom on Monday had readers biting their nails as she gave a play by play.
Two quotes pulled from her social media feed reflect the tension of the moments filled with abstruse definitions of legal procedural arguments.
“The crown is saying that by not cross examining doesn’t mean they accept all documents.”
“Crown is referring to Brown and Dunn right now and credibility is not a factor in this case.”
The dissection of this ruling even produced chuckles from Justice Phelan.
(“The rule in Browne v Dunn”. The rule in Browne v Dunn basically entails that a cross examiner cannot rely on evidence that is contradictory to the testimony of the witness without putting the evidence to the witness in order to allow them to attempt to justify the contradiction.)Excerpt from Wikipedia.
Kirk Tousaw part of the Allard council reportedly said “Esoteric evidence issue resolved but unclear if it matters or not.”
Eventually all 174 statements were accepted into evidence and not argued by the defense. In turn the prosecution did not choose to argue evidence either. So ended day six with triumph for one of the lead organizers and CinC’s Jenn Bennett.
Tuesday the 3rd of March marked the seventh day of the trial and the first of Health Canada’s officials and experts. First up Health Canada policy official Jocelyn Kula answers questions regarding protocols surrounding the MMAR’s implementation.
When asked about a “National Cannabis Agency” as required by a UN treaty on drugs mandating it, Kula said it had not been done. Asking her to expand on the UN international convention on drugs, Kula began to describe the only 3 ways to obtain legal medical marijuana through MMAR. Either to produce it, obtain it from a designated grower, or obtain from Health Canada.
Then moving on to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Tousaw probes into the fact that not all mind-altering drugs have been included, Kula agrees. Later she confesses to not being an “expert on drug science.”
The question of cannabinoids being found in the nature as well as the human body ushered the non-commital statement that Kula was not responsible for determining certain Health Canada policies.
Both Kula and the afternoon witness Dr. Ormsby where questioned the allowance of “relatively benign” substances and where they fit into the natural product health regulations. Both agreed that medicinal and natural substances that have been studied and used for a long time have their place under natural health guidelines.
Also agreed upon was the fact that it would be absurd for a patient to be required to get FDA & FDR approval in order to make or consume Cannabis in cookies or tea. Again it’s not reasonable to expect an individual patient to have their Cannabis cookies tested in clinical trial before consuming them. Now if a patient wanted to start selling their creations they would need to submit samples for testing as set out by the FDA or that of clinical trials. These are mostly reserved for large companies or research firms Kula points out.
Tousaw and Kula couldn’t quite get on the same page about LSD and why it was lower on the Drug Schedule than Cannabis. Does the government view Cannabis as being more harmful than LSD? Kula agreed that more information exists on Cannabis now than in 1961 when the UN treaty was first signed however that her expertise does not extend the drug science.
Jocelyn Kula’s examination by the prosecution concluded with no redirect at 10:24 am.
The next witness Health Canada official Eric Ormsby was referred to as “old-school” as he did not have a cellular telephone to contact him by, which made for a 1:30 pm time to resume.
Once the similar items to Ms. Kula’s testimony were over, Tousaw then directed the line of questions at the synthetic Cannabis Sativex and that GW Pharm has a “notice of compliance with conditions” to approve Cannabis for certain use.
Essentially the THC in Sativex is the same compound found in Cannabis extracts said Ormbsy.
However it is not his job as the “Manager, Ofﬁce of Science, Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs, Therapeutic Products, Directorate Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada” to stay informed on advancements in the field of Cannabis.
Kirk Tousaw ended his examination of the government’s expert witness Ormbsy after 2:30 pm, and so concluded day seven.