Only Half the Trafficking-Related Charges are Dropped Against Saskatoon Four

By Cori Petersen

In Saskatoon provincial court on Wednesday, charges relating to Cannabis concentrates, like buddar, shatter, wax or oil, were withdrawn against Mark Phillip Hauk, Lane Anthony Britnell, Jaime Michelle Hagel and Carson Jocelyn Ramsay.

 The Crown has dropped half of the trafficking-related charges that all four were co-accused on, leaving three trafficking charges as well as one charge of possessing the proceeds of crime.

Janelle Khan – Crown prosecutor, just outside the courthouse stated how the Crown came to the decision to drop the Cannabis concentrate-related charges after analysing the charges in the context of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision last year in R. v Smith. That ruling from the top court expanded the scope of medical Cannabis outside of just dried Cannabis, making the possession of concentrates legal.

“It was not illegal for the defendants, at the time of the incidents, to be in possession of the marijuana derivatives because we’ve confirmed they all have valid medical marijuana authorizations,” Khan said.

Today though that is not true Khan said.

“Currently, the federal Crown takes the position that anyone with a medical marijuana authorization should be going to a licensed producer,” she said. “But at the time of the arrest of the defendants, there was no licensed producer that had a licence to sell medical marijuana derivatives.”

There now are three licensed producers (LP’s), all based out of Ontario, Khan assured.

An expert in Cannabis law, Kirk Tousaw stated that the charges being dropped illustrated the belief that Supreme Court of Canada’s decision last year in R. v Smith would prove in court to exonerate the defendants therefore dismissing them only made sense.

“The dropping of the charges is, frankly, a recognition of the validity of the efforts of compassion clubs throughout this country in assisting patients with obtaining access to a reasonable, safe and adequate supply of medicine for their serious, critical and chronic illnesses,” he said. “I think that’s something that most Canadians support, and most Canadians would not want to see their money spent prosecuting people like Mr. Hauk, who are helping patients improve their quality of life.”

In October when Mr. Hauk was released he considered the actions of police “Shameless and Gutless.”

Comments on this subject are in support of The Saskatchewan Compassion Club.

“All charges should be dropped. The idea of getting cannabis thru the mail from people that only care about share holders profits makes me sick. The MMPR is disgusting.” was one public comment.

“Khan says that possessing derivatives would be illegal now since 3 LPs now produce oils but what if you’re not signed up with any of those LPs. I’m with Tilray and they don’t have extracts yet. Where am I supposed to get mine since I’m only allowed to have one (maybe two if you’re lucky) LPs and my LP doesn’t make extract or is out at the time of order.

Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty sure the LP oil is capped at 3%. Although I don’t know for sure. A three hundred dollar bottle of 3% oil pills doesn’t seem all that great compared to 40 dollar grams of shatter at 80% thc.” said another public comment from FaceBook.