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Medical Marijuana Policy

B.C. Judge Discharges Man Caught Growing 414 Marijuana Plants

small marijuana gardenUsually when someone gets caught growing 414 plants, they are looking at a very harsh punishment. But in British Columbia, a judge with above average compassion and logical reasoning skills granted a full discharge to a man growing 414 marijuana plants. The plants were being grown by Michael Santos, who was growing them for medical purposes for himself and other people he gave the medical marijuana away to. Per Metro News:

A judge has given an absolute discharge to a man charged with trafficking marijuana after police raided his Lions Bay home and found 414 marijuana plants, although almost half most were seedlings.

Michael Santos, an audio engineer with no criminal record, pleaded guilty to possessing about three kilograms of marijuana for trafficking.

The police raid took place on Feb. 28, 2013, when a battering ram was used to break the front door when no one immediately answered at Santos’ rental home, where he lived with his wife and two children.

The judge, Joanne Challenger, provided the following reasoning for the decision:

“Given what Mr. Santos knows about the disease he is predisposed to and the effect it has had on his family, I accept that his medical use was and is sincere,” the judge said in a recent written judgment. “Even if the only benefit the use of marijuana actually provides is hope, the emotional and, in turn, physical benefits could well be medically significant.”

“His conduct was not dangerous or antisocial and recent polls suggest that a majority of Canadians do not believe such conduct should be the subject of criminal sanctions,” the judge said.

Could you imagine if every judge was as intelligent as this one? Rather than cling to failed policies of the past, this judge decided to do a very logical and compassionate thing. The Justice system, whether it be in Canada or the United States or anywhere else, should be designed to protect citizens. It’s nice to know that at least one judge out there is doing it right.

  • Rob Saxe

    Wow..

    • Jakeresides

      You asked for citation of #4, sights are seeming to stop me from posting.

      Merit 1: 42 billion annual is spent on marijuana prohibition, redirected funds would help infrastructure and educational programs.
      Merit 2: taxation can fund regulation.
      Merit 3: more people in the workforce that can live up to their potential and not be restricted by prejudice.
      Merit 4: the same study that said gross excessive (And I stress the word excessive) abuse of marijuana leads to brain damage also said that in moderate users, synaptic connections were stronger and more numerous. (the media hyped up brain damage but fell silent when the second part of the study began to gain momentum).
      Merit 5: countries that legalized or otherwise tolerated marijuana have reduced crime and reduced persons habitually smoking recreational. This is in part due to legality taking the drug out of alleys and hands of dealers effectively eliminating the need to group together to find the herb. It is the social connection made through the act of finding the plant that drives up demand, especially in otherwise restless youth. This is in part why consumption by kids is down in Colorado.

      Crew, Bec. “Heavy Marijuana Use Shrinks Your Brain but Increases Connectivity.”ScienceAlert. 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2015.

  • SillyRabbit

    Wow there is hope ….. His decision speaks volumes!

  • SetagoodExample!

    Thats what makes we cannabis users look stupid…..re-read the article SILLYRABBIT….the judge is a WOMAN NAMED JOANNE!

  • Keith Ritman

    Well it is refreshing to see a Judge with common sense and compassion. Perhaps some of the OTHER judges in the matters should take HER example

    • Denny

      It’s also unfortunate to read about a dufus that attempted to grow a few hundred plants without a license.
      If I was a dispensary owner who’d paid a boatload of $$ to be in business, I’d be miffed big time.
      The guy admitted to trafficking the stuff, so that discredits the judge even more…

      • Sarijuana

        I think that shows a little lack of compassion on your part, Some people can’t afford dispensary prices. Some people need way more cannabis than is allowed to be bought. Some people need specific strains. Some people can only use concentrates or edibles that require having a lot of plant matter on hand to make these products. There are endless reasons why some people grow their own, not to mention it shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. This judge is a hero. She is willing to step out and do something right. When a judge is willing to swim against the tide like this they are opening the door for others to do the same.

        One of the ways laws get changed is by challenging them. This judge saw an opportunity and took it. Most people don’t know that they have the right to challenge standing laws, as a judge, a jury, a defendant or a prosecutor, but they do, and sometimes it works.

        • Denny

          There’s no way someone needs or can reasonably use 414 marijuana plants strictly for personal use.
          This kind of ordeal, from the arrogant grower to the mindless judge, conveniently serves those who oppose legalization and indirectly discredits the overall legalization initiative.
          The judge did not follow the law, like it or not, and until it’s changed any judge that acts in this manner is likely to be censored, and rightfully so. When a judge decides to interpret an existing law in a personal manner, not within the legal parameters, their credibility is flushed.
          Would you want to appear in front of a judge that arbitrarily interprets and enforces the law depending upon their personal whims? Of course not, no reasonable person would opt for that kind of legal system. If, in fact you disagree, then maybe you’d like to take your chances with this particular judge on a parking ticket. They could, at their discretion, fine you an outrageous amount of money, $500 for instance, even though the law says your fine should be, let’s say $25.
          When there are no laws, or the ones that are on the books aren’t enforced as written, there will eventually be chaos. It’s just that simple.

          • Sarijuana

            It isn’t that simple. If people don’t continue to challenge laws, there will be no progress.

            The plants were not just for him.
            “The plants were being grown by Michael Santos, who was growing them for
            medical purposes for himself and other people he gave the medical
            marijuana away to.”

            “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws.
            Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            “No organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every
            question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions.”
            ABRAHAM LINCOLN, First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1861

          • Samuel

            thank you Sarijuana.

          • Samuel

            Denny. You sound like one of the assholes that doesn’t think cannabis should be legalized because it will “cut” into the medical growers profits. Laws will be changed when people with the balls stand against the unjust ones and this judge has chosen to do just that. Ever heard of jury nullification? That is the ability to stand against laws if the jury feels the laws are unjust. So, you don’t feel a judge has that ability as well? They have the right to give you maximum (life) sentences so why not be allowed to go the opposite way? You know what is “just that simple”, common sense approach to the legal system that has been missing for generations because of unreasonable and unjust laws that no one will stand up against. I applaud this judge for doing the right thing, even if it goes against YOUR sense of justice. I know for a fact that judges have been enforcing laws and sentences that have gone against MY sense of right and wrong for 60+ years so its nice to have it go the opposite way for a change. As for the grower and his “trafficking” …. BULLSHIT !!! He accepted the charge because if he hadn’t he could have faced HUGE charges that go beyond the reasonable. He took a chance and probably hoped the justice system would actually represent justice and not just inhumane law enforcement. What is he going to do LIE and say he didn’t know what those plants were doing on his property. You truly must be lacking in some capacity. Go donate to your local LEOs or maybe offer to kick in some old lady’s door for them.

          • Dianna Donnelly

            We don’t really know about the plants though do we? I mean, it could be several groups at different ages. Meaning half of that number could be very small clones. I think they count them all though which is ridiculous imo.