Day Five Through Seven: Allard et al. V. Her Majesty the Queen

By Cori Petersen

Day five was scheduled to handle any overflow of testimony or procedural issues that may have come up over the previous four days of court. As none of the those things had arisen it was a day off for all involved.

Day six of the trial started a new week and a new month, being the 2nd of March. Even though it was a short day, it was big on excitement for a lead organizer of the Coalition—Jenn Bennett—who, along with Jason Wilcox, had spent the last summer helping to collect 174 statements under review that day.

Tension built during the morning session on social media following Mrs. Bennett’s updates. Quotes from her social media reflect the wrestling and chaotic nature of analyzing the esoteric evidence.

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.”

Justice Phelan couldn’t help but chuckle at delving back into minutia of Browne v Dunn with John Conroy QC up to the podium.

[(“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.) Taken from Wikipedia.]

When all was said and done, no argument was made and all 174 statements were entered into evidence. This made for more than one satisfied organizer of the Coalition and ended the sixth day.

Day seven of Allard v The Queen brought the first of Health Canada’s expert witnesses. Jocelyn Kula, a policy official for HC started off the morning by answering questions about a more than half-century-old UN treaty posed by Kirk Tousaw.

Tousaw asked Kula about the treaty on drugs and how it required Canada to set up a “National Cannabis Agency” for medical Cannabis. Kula replied it had not been done. She went on to explain the only 3 ways one can procure medical Cannabis legally within the MMAR program. Produce it, get it from a designated grower, or get it from Health Canada.

Moving to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its contents, Tousaw asked if all the mind-altering substances are included, Kula replied that they are not… although later, she admits that she is not an expert on drug science.

The fact that cannabinoids are found in the human body and nature being presented to Kula made for patented response about her not being in charge of certain aspects of Health Canada’s policy.

When questions of natural products and their guidelines arose, both Kula as well as the afternoon witness Eric Ormsby agreed that natural products are accepted within limits.

Additionally, the two witness were questioned about and agreed to the fact that a patient is not expected to have edible Cannabis products they created for personal use, undergo testing or clinical trial before they consume them. These services are for the most part used by large companies or research groups and would only be necessary if a patient wanted to start selling their wares.

Asking Kula about LSD and it’s ranking on the Drug Schedule did not nail down any agreement. Tousaw postulated that the government viewed LSD as less harmful than Cannabis due to it’s rank… Kula pointed out her lacking in expertise on drug science and said that more information on Cannabis exists today as opposed to when the treaty had been written in 1961.

Thus ended Jocelyn Kula’s testimony around 10:30 am.

At this point the defense categorized the next witness, Eric Ormsby, as “old-school” because he did not have a cell phone to reach him on. After his location was not ascertained by 11:30 PM, it was agreed that court would be reconvened at 1:30 PM.

Kirk Tousaw resumed questioning, reviewing items similar to that of Ms. Kula. Then the synthetic Cannabis named Sativex was examined. and how GW Pharm has a “notice of compliance with conditions,” to be able to approve Cannabis for specific use.

Ormsby testified that the THC found in Sativex is essentially the same as the compound found in Cannabis extractions.

Staying informed in the field of Cannabis is not the job of the “Manager, Office of Science, Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs, Therapeutic Products, Directorate Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada” according to Ormsby.

Examination of Eric Ormsby by Kirk Tousaw concluded with no redirect between 2:30pm and 3pm. End of the seventh day.