PR: Pregnant Founder of New Brunswick Cannabis Café Handed 12-Month Sentence
Pregnant Founder of New Brunswick Cannabis Café Handed 12-Month Sentence
The Human Cost of Canada’s Failed Cannabis Prohibition
June 10, 2005
Following a June 1st court decision Lynn Wood of Saint John, New Brunswick was sentenced by Judge Murray Cain to one year in jail for distributing cannabis at her former business, the Cannabis Café. Mrs. Wood, who is a mother of three and who is expecting her fourth child in August, maintains that all cannabis sales were for medical purposes. Citing that she was a risk to re-offend, the judge refused to grant her house arrest, condemning her to give birth in a prison hospital, and forcing the separation of mother, child and siblings until her sentence is served.
The Canadian Cannabis Coalition (CCC) is shocked and outraged by this decision. Judge Murray defended his sentence by stating that Lynn Wood continued to distribute cannabis after being charged over one year ago. Since her arrest, no one has filled the gap of providing cannabis to the AIDS, cancer, hepatitis-c and chronic pain sufferers that counted on Mrs. Wood for a safe source of cannabis. Common sense would suggest that her dedication and compassion for the critically and chronically ill members of Saint John should be admired, and not used as the reason to separate her from her husband and children.
In over 5 years of operation, the Office of Cannabis Medical Access has only registered 800 of the over half a million Canadians that currently use cannabis for medical purposes, leaving the overwhelming majority of our nation’s critically and chronically ill cannabis users without either legal protection or a safe source of medicine. Dispensaries like Lynn Wood’s Cannabis Café have alleviated the suffering of some of our sickest citizens through the community-based distribution of cannabis.
A document titled “Preventing Harm From Psychoactive Substance Use” released by City of Vancouver this week urges the federal government to end this expensive and ineffective war on drugs, stating that a “public health” approach to substance use “counters the moral position that supports the need to prohibit certain psychoactive substances with the argument that it is immoral to tacitly accept unnecessary human suffering, death and harm to society maintained by prohibition-based polices.” We argue that to jail a pregnant mother of three for 12 months for distributing cannabis to medical users is utterly draconian, immoral, unacceptable and anachronistic for a modern, liberal democracy like Canada. This sentence cannot be allowed to stand, and the continued persecution of Canada’s cannabis community has to end TODAY!
The CCC is Canada’s largest cannabis reform organization, with over 60 supporting organizations. We recommend that interested press contact Lynn Wood’s husband Jim for comments on his wife’s imprisonment: 506-657-4769 or Debbie Stultz-Giffin of MUMM 902 665 2355 firstname.lastname@example.org