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High Priest Of Pot Challenges Canada's Drug Laws


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The self-proclaimed high priest of pot will be back in court next month looking to strike down Canada's marijuana laws.

Hornby Island resident Rev. Don Hogan will be at the Courtenay courthouse June 11 to 13 putting forth a legal constitutional challenge to the legality of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act.

This is not the first time Montreal-born Hogan has challenged the courts following an arrest for possession of marijuana.

"At the same time it is also my intention to challenge the validity of Health Canada's application process for access to medical marijuana," said 56-year-old Hogan.

"Like millions of other members of Canada's cannabis culture, I most certainly want nothing except self-respect and freedom from Canada's draconian marijuana prohibition."

Hogan was arrested in April 2005 and about two ounces of medical cannabis was seized by police. He was not charged until months later.

"I feel that I am discriminated against by the police because I have been involved for over 30 years of my life in actively promoting the legalization of marijuana," said Hogan.

In March 2006, Hogan applied to the court challenge program for funding for a constitutional test case challenge which he believes to be of national significance. He did so because there are important legal aspects involving not only the use of medical hemp, cannabis or marijuana, but non-medical and recreational use as well.

"I strongly believe that this test case will advance equality rights as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians," noted Hogan.

While Canada's Court Challenges Program provided funding for the medical aspect of Hogan's constitutional challenge a year ago, the program has been axed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government before adequate funding could be secured to cover Hogan's expense of legal council.

"I am now struggling to create a winning legal strategy to not only establish my right to access medical cannabis, but hopefully also at the end of the day, strike down Canada's marijuana laws," said Hogan.

"I say struggle due to lack of adequate legal representation and what I perceive as an 11th-hour pre-trial tactic on the part of the Crown to derail my sound and rational constitutional challenge."

In court May 24, Hogan said the Crown complained that he had not served proper "notice of intent" regarding his constitutional challenge, which is being partially funded by public tax dollars.

"It took the Crown almost two years to suddenly come to that realization?" asked Hogan.

Before returning to court in early June, Hogan said he's working on his case, conducting research via the Internet of cases brought before supreme courts in B.C. and Ontario as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Hogan contends that marijuana prohibition and the laws governing it constitutes more harm to society than medical or non-medical and recreational use of pot does.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Comox Valley Record (Canada)[/FONT]
Author: [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Jules S. Xavier[/FONT]
Contact: editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com
Copyright: [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]2007 Comox Valley Record[/FONT]
Website: Home - Comox Valley Record
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