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Krieger faces fresh pot charge

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As the legal woes mount for medicinal marijuana advocate Grant Krieger,
supporters are praising his "heroic" efforts while critics say good
intentions don't exempt him from the law.

Krieger, who is appealing a trafficking conviction here last month, is
facing a new legal battle after being stopped by police Wednesday night
outside Winnipeg.

Officers pulled over a vehicle near Headingley and seized a pound of pot,
said Sgt. Steve Saunders, spokesman for the RCMP in Manitoba. A trafficking
charge is pending.

Krieger told the Herald he was delivering the marijuana to chronically ill

He said the weed was worth $3,200. Police also seized about $4,000 in
cash -- the proceeds from marijuana delivered to chapters of Krieger's
compassion club in Saskatoon and Regina, he said.

"It's a really heavy hit," Krieger said. "(But) the people who are really
penalized are the people who are sick and on a fixed income."

The 49-year-old Calgarian is a longtime multiple sclerosis sufferer and uses
cannabis butter to manage his pain. While patients who are issued waivers
can legally grow and possess small amounts of the drug, Krieger said people
like him who provide a safe, reliable supply are still subject to

Many salute Krieger's efforts.

"Grant's a modern-day hero," said Marc Emery, president of the B.C.
Marijuana Party.

"He's doing some tremendous things for a lot of people at no personal gain
to himself. You can't fault a guy for that."

The editor of Cannabis Health, based in Grand Forks, B.C., said Krieger has
paid a huge price.

"Grant has no intention of quitting what he's doing, regardless of what the
courts do to him," said Brian Taylor. "He's committed to the point where his
family has been disrupted."

Calgary Northeast MP Art Hanger, however, rejected the notion that nobel
intentions should exempt Krieger from prosecution.

"I don't buy that," said the Canadian Alliance representative. "Who
appointed him to be the distributor of the marijuana?"

According to Mount Royal College criminologist John Winterdyk, officers have
no choice but to lay charges. "Police are required to enforce the law
irrespective of public opinion or attitudes," the Calgary instructor said.
"Their hands are tied."

Krieger was released from police custody on a promise to appear in court in
Winnipeg on March 19.

Pubdate: Friday, January 9, 2004
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Contact: letters@theherald.canwest.com
Website: http://www.canada.com/calgary/calgaryherald/
Author: Scott Crowson and Jason van Rassel