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Seized Marijuana Plants Had Value Up To $830,000


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AMHERST - If a heavy cannabis user were to grow 1,190 plants for personal use, it would take approximately 76 years to use the supply of bud produced in its entirety, according to Cpl. James Duggan, the expert witness for the Crown during Rick Simpson's Supreme Court trial.

"A very heavy user that I've spoken to has said he smokes 10 ( marijuana ) joints per day. At between one-third to one-half gram per joint, that relates to approximately three grams per day," said Duggan, who has been dedicated to the Northeast Nova Drug Section since 2001.

During direct examination, Duggan estimated the 1,190 marijuana plants confiscated from Simpson's property during the Aug. 3, 2005, raid would have a street value between $464,000 and $830,000, depending on if sold by the gram or pound.

From his experience and training, a pound of marijuana could be sold for $2,500, while a gram would sell for at least $10.

While indicating the price value of the marijuana if sold on the streets, Simpson asked Duggan during cross-examination if it would be common practice for a dealer to have small plastic bags to store the marijuana in. Upon Duggan agreeing it would be common practice, Simpson pointed out that no baggies were found during the raid.

"If you took a pound of marijuana and extracted the oil, how much would that value be?" Simpson asked Duggan.

When Duggan couldn't answer, Simpson asked what the monetary gain would be if he was giving the oil away.

"There would be no monetary gain there," responded Duggan.

Much like the second day of trial, Simpson asked for speculation on Duggan's part in regards to several areas, including why the RCMP hadn't shown anyone in the organization a video he had dropped off detailing what he was doing with the marijuana, as well as if police resources were being well spent on focusing on marijuana instead of harder drugs like heroin.

More than a dozen times during cross-examination, Justice Felix Cacchione had to step in to remind Simpson he couldn't ask Duggan to speculate on areas outside his expertise, or to make statements.

Simpson will begin his defence today.

Source: Amherst Daily News (CN NS)
Copyright: Amherst Daily News 2007
Contact: dfrench@amherstdaily.com
Website: The Amherst Daily News, Nova Scotia: Serving Amherst and Area since 1893
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