A Canadian judge issued a not-so-subtle statement while ruling in a recent drug possession case, when he fined a man just $1.30 for growing 30 marijuana plants. Judge Pierre Chevalier found Mario Larouche guilty of violating Quebec drug laws, but fined him the minimal amount in a symbolic decision.
Larouche suffered from chronic pain, and tried several times to get a medical marijuana license, not wanting to treat his symptoms with dangerous prescription painkillers. After his request for medical marijuana was repeatedly denied, he took matters into his own hands and grew the plants himself.
After being caught with the plants, Larouche stood before Judge Chevalier, who found him guilty, but only fined him $1.30 Canadian, which is just $.97 USD. In his ruling, Chevalier criticized the obsolete laws that control marijuana:
“We are in a society where people are accused of possession and use of marijuana while more than half the population has already consumed. These are laws that are obsolete and ridiculous. When one is in the presence of laws which would have more than half of the population has a criminal record in Canada… And probably most Crown Attorneys and defense, and perhaps judges, but I will not comment on it”
The Judge went on to criticize the system which denied Larouche access to medical marijuana, and described the drug as a “natural medicine that goes back centuries, millennia.”
In the United States, as well as several other countries, growing marijuana could cost a grower thousands of dollars in fines, and result in years of prison time. Although Canada still has anti-marijuana laws on the books, the country is currently undergoing a shift in thought. Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the election by running on a platform that included legalizing marijuana.
Featured image via Flickr