Charged Ottawa Pot Shop Clerk at Centre of Constitutional Challenge to Medical Marijuana Laws

Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Citizen

Charged Ottawa pot shop clerk at centre of constitutional challenge to medical marijuana laws. The lawyer for Tessa Giberson, shown here during a court appearance in March, is filing a constitutional challenge to the country's medical marijuana laws. Giberson, who worked as a clerk at an illegal marijuana dispensary, was arrested during a raid last November and charged with drug trafficking

An Ottawa lawyer is launching a constitutional challenge to Canada’s medical marijuana laws as part of his defence of a pot shop clerk charged with drug trafficking.

Three days have been set aside in an Ottawa court in May 2018 to hear the challenge.

He’s still formulating the case, said lawyer Yavar Hameed. However, Hameed said he may employ some of the arguments that have been used in past successful court challenges. Such challenges, by cannabis activists, first forced the federal government to legalize medical marijuana at the turn of the century, then to broaden the regulations governing its use several times.

Giberson was arrested in the first sweep by Ottawa police against the illegal dispensaries last November, when six shops were raided in one day. Giberson was a “budtender” at the Green Tree dispensary on Preston Street.

She was charged with 10 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possessing the property proceeds of crime.

Giberson was in court Wednesday, and her trial was set for April 5, 2018. However, the verdict will probably be suspended pending the results of the constitutional challenge in May, said Hameed.

Giberson has declined to speak to the media.

Read full article here.

For the full list of dispensary raids since Trudeau took office, click here.

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