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Thread: Conditional Discharge For Denman Pot Grower

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    Conditional Discharge For Denman Pot Grower

    48-Year-Old Claims He Used Drug As Medicine

    A 48-year-old man received a conditional discharge in Courtenay Provincial Court last week after Comox Valley RCMP discovered 43 marijuana plants growing on his Denman Island property.

    According to court testimony, Randall Steven Relkoff had been growing the plants and smoking the pot to ease symptoms he was suffering due to several injuries, including a head injury suffered at work, but he did not have a prescription.

    Although more than 30 grams of marijuana was found by police, Relkoff was charged with simple possession rather than a more serious production charge.

    Defence lawyer Robert Miller noted that Relkoff had previously been in the construction landscaping business. He would like to get back into that business but it would be difficult with a criminal record. Further, his wife's family lives in the United States and traveling to that country with a drug charge on one's record is very difficult.

    "He is in a position where a criminal record would be a serious disability," said Miller.

    Crown did not oppose the submission, noting that Relkoff is 48 years old and has no prior criminal history.

    "This is somewhat of a difficult decision for me," said provincial court Judge R. Allan Gould. "I can understand how people can get some relief from marijuana. But if you want to make an issue of that, you must do it through doctors, not on your own."

    But given his age and lack of prior criminal history, Gould agreed with Miller's submission and issued a conditional discharge.

    A conditional discharge means you are guilty -- in this case, Relkoff pleaded guilty -- but rather than being convicted one is instead placed on probation. If the probation is completed successfully, the person so sentenced will not have a criminal record.

    Conditions of Relkoff's probation include that he abstain from the possession of illicit drugs and that he make a $500 donation to the D.A.R.E. program, in care of the Comox Valley RCMP.

    Crown suggested that probation conditions be modified such that possession of marijuana would be allowed should Relkoff obtain a medical prescription, but Gould said that in his view, once an individual has a prescription for marijuana, the substance should no longer be considered illicit and so Relkoff would not be in breach of his conditions if he were to possess it with a valid prescription.

    Source: Comox Valley Echo (CN BC)
    Copyright: 2008 Comox Valley Echo
    Contact: ech@mars.ark.com
    Website: canada.com

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    Re: Conditional Discharge For Denman Pot Grower

    Awesome. Props to a judge with common sense.