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Jury Will Decide Fate Of Marijuana Growers

Rocky Balboa

New Member
A case mixing marijuana with mysticism and criminal law with culture is expected to be in the hands of 12 jurors today. What the prosecution has called the largest, most sophisticated, and potentially profitable marijuana grow-op in this province's history, the defence portrayed as an altruistic operation to cultivate "medicine" at the request of the "Creator" -- at least in the minds of the accused. The seven-woman, five-man jury was expected to begin deliberations this afternoon after getting final directions from Court of Queen's Bench Justice Frank Gerein.

The case centres on an RCMP raid that uncovered more than 6,000 cannabis marijuana plants growing primarily in six large greenhouses and four slightly smaller outdoor plots at a site on the Pasqua First Nation. Lawrence Hubert Agecoutay, 52, Chester Fernand Girard, 59, Nelson Edward Northwood, 58, Jack Allan Northwood, 55, Joseph Clayton Agecoutay, 47, and Robert Stanley Agecoutay, 48, are charged with illegally producing marijuana between April 1 and Aug. 21, 2005 and possessing the drug for the purpose of trafficking. Robert Agecoutay is also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon -- a sawed-off shotgun, while Girard faces an additional charge of forcible entry of a house.

In closing arguments Monday, defence lawyer Rod Simaluk urged the jury to consider the heart and mind of his client Lawrence Agecoutay, the self-described head chief of the Anishinabe Nations of Turtle Island Indian Reserve. "He truly believed that Indian reserve is a sovereign nation, separate and distinct from the rest of Canada," said Simaluk. "What the chief wanted to do was provide medicine for his people," said Simaluk, noting his client believed he was following the Creator's direction.

Crown prosecutor Darrell Blais contended documents show exactly what they had in mind. The "marijuana business plan" suggests a scheme to split a $2 million profit from the six greenhouses and another $1.3 million from the four plots, he said. "We all know what these accused were growing. It was cannabis marijuana," said Blais, who noted Lawrence Agecoutay recruited family members to work. "Children as young as 10 years old laboured in these marijuana fields," he said.

Both sides agreed Chester Girard was the cultivation expert. Defence lawyer Drew Hitchcock said the Ontario man -- who prefers his adopted Indian name Asina Anana -- was like a contractor hired to do a job he believed was legitimate. "They believed the Creator had put them together to make this dream come a reality," said Hitchcock, who said the jury doesn't have to share that belief, but appreciate that the accused believed.

Blais argued the dream was about money, noting a notebook found in the teepee from which Girard fled shows future plans to grow three crops a year for a $9 million profit. Blais argued financial gain also motivated Nelson Northwood, who invested $40,000 in anticipation of a "$160,000 payday."

Court heard Northwood, in financial trouble after a job injury, joined a "de-tax" group in the belief people don't have to pay income tax. Lawyer Robert Mulligan described his client as an insomniac with memory problems. Given his "misguided thinking" about the tax system, he was clearly vulnerable to the influence of others and "wanted to believe this," he said.

In a letter, Northwood thanked Lawrence Agecoutay for arranging his adoption by the Anishinabe Nation and expressed his "hope we can work together to better ourselves and others." He signed his Indian name Shung Ki Ka No Da Ko Schit Kee Uzance. "Is that the letter of a criminal?" asked Mulligan.

Defence lawyers Darin Chow, Darren Winegarden, and Cam McCannell, representing Jack Northwood, Joseph Agecoutay and Robert Agecoutay respectively, argued their clients also believed this was medicine. Winegarden pointed out a potted marijuana plant in front of one of the Agecoutay's homes. "Is that something someone is hiding?" he asked. "They were growing marijuana plants and they were proud of it."

Source: Leader-Post
Author: Barb Pacholik
Copyright: 2008 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Website: canada.com
 
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Herb Fellow

New Member
I hope that Shung Ki Ka No Da Ko Schit Kee Uzance wins his case. Native Americans' culture and their nations sovereignty should be honored.
 

Boss

Well-Known Member
The Governments would rather they stay drunk off their ass and stop causing trouble.

Indian nations think they had it stuff before, with all those people dieing and being killed. Now they watch their people die, only slowly, or through drunken brawls and domestic violence brought upon by alcohol. Cannabis would be the best thing that has happened to the Native Americans in a hundred years.
 

zamuel

New Member
It was cannabis marijuana," said Blais,

Isnt that like saying "It was Cannabis Cannabis" or "It was Marijuana Marijuana"

Not a very serious post by myself, Just made me wonder.
 
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