Article by Gordon Paul, Waterloo Region Record
Jeffrey Shaver, the Cambridge man famous for his bong-smoking nearly naked protests across Waterloo Region, has been vindicated.
The professional standards branch of Waterloo Regional Police has ruled officers unlawfully arrested, searched and detained him after he smoked medical marijuana in front of the Cambridge police station on Oct. 22, 2016.
Shaver, 31, fired up a bong that day to protest a charge of marijuana possession laid on Oct. 20. On both days Shaver showed regional police officers his documents for medical marijuana. Both times he was charged with possession.
In an official complaint, Shaver said police were wrong to charge him twice with pot possession and claimed there was no legal justification for being handcuffed, searched and detained for 16 hours on Oct. 22. He alleged the actions amounted to excessive force.
Following an investigation, the professional standards branch ruled Shaver was legally authorized to have marijuana and concluded the Oct. 22 arrest, search and detention of Shaver were unlawful.
“Because there was no lawful authority to arrest the complainant, the use of force is considered unlawful and/or unnecessary by definition,” says the report, which Shaver received earlier this month.
On Oct. 20, 2016, Shaver was arrested for trespassing at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. A search of his backpack found pot. Shaver showed officers his documents for medical marijuana but he was charged with possession and had a bong and pot seized.
On both Oct. 20 and 22, officers wrongly believed Shaver needed Health Canada documents to prove he was legally allowed to smoke pot, the report says.
They didn’t know that in 2014, Health Canada documents were replaced by documents from licensed producers, which Shaver had.
The officers said they received no formal training on medical pot issues, the report says.