Local pot user freed

August 01, 2005

Megan Gillis, Ottawa Sun

A local medical marijuana activist was on his way home yesterday after landing in the joint over the weekend.

Rick Reimer, 51, vowed to fight a public intoxication charge after being arrested at Hemp Fest in Lawrencetown, N.S., and spending an uncomfortable night in jail.

AIMS TO FIGHT CHARGE

"It's Rick's intention to come back and fight the charge," said Debbie Stultz-Giffin, a festival organizer and chairwoman of the non-profit Maritimers United for Medical Marijuana.

"It's a $111 summary conviction but he's willing to spend $5,000 to come back and fight it."

The retired lawyer and folk singer, best known for beating an impaired driving rap, has a federal medical exemption that allows him to smoke pot for his multiple sclerosis symptoms.

MS symptoms -- including impaired balance and slurred speech -- may have made him seem impaired, Stultz-Giffin said.

Hemp Fest was wrapping up for the night on Sunday when a toking Reimer had an altercation with an RCMP officer.

Supporters say he was shoved into a car, hitting his head.

Reimer is the second Hemp Fest speaker to end up in jail.

The RCMP didn't respond to a request for a comment.

Marc Emery, leader of the BC Marijuana party, was arrested Friday. He's wanted in the U.S. for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, distribute seeds and engage in money laundering.



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