Seized pot returned to Canadian user

March 02, 2006

Saskatchewan News Network, Star Phoenix (Canada)

A Regina medical marijuana user has his plants back.

Tom Shapiro was at Regina police headquarters Thursday collecting the 21 marijuana plants seized by officers last month following a delay in the renewal of his licence to grow pot.

Shapiro arrived at the station armed with a court order for police to return the property to him.

"I feel great having it back," he said. "It's a success story here all around. Hopefully it protects us in the future. For people who are legally entitled to grow it and possess it, (I hope) that it should never happen to them that the police should walk in and disrupt their life and their health."

Returning seized drugs is a first for Regina police officers, who handed over two large bags of dried marijuana plants to Shapiro.

In early February, police officers searched Shapiro's home, seizing marijuana plants and growing equipment. He was charged with production of marijuana under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, but later saw the charges dropped and his equipment returned.

Shapiro said he doesn't have any animosity toward the police, and blames Health Canada for telling him he could grow marijuana while waiting for the renewal of his medical marijuana licence.

He has held a licence to grow pot for the past five years to control the nausea he experiences as a side-effect of AIDS.

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