Chris Enns takes fight for medical marijuana to Nova Scotia Supreme Court
Nearly two years after a traffic stop resulted in trafficking charges for Chris Enns, the prolific medical marijuana activist's case is now before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. With Enns juggling two court cases, marijuana proponents believe there is a targeted effort by police to shut down dispensaries.
"My client has been fighting for reasonable access to medical cannabis for most of his adult life, and this case is really a part of that process," says Enns' defence lawyer, Jack Lloyd.
With his case, Enns is challenging the constitutionality of regulations surrounding access to medical cannabis.
As the case begins at Supreme Court, Enns is facing new charges after Halifax Regional Police raided Farm Assists Medical Cannabis Resource Centre, which he owns, resulting in him turning himself in to police on Wednesday morning.
Vice-chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana, Chris Backer, says he suspected police action involving dispensaries was bound to happen.
"I believe that they are cracking down on them," says Backer. "I mean, we knew it was coming – it's not a good idea. These are places that have been established for years now, and people have come to count on them, and there's an outcry from patients that are just at a loss, they're devastated. They don't know what to do without their meds."
Backer adds many people still don't understand that there are individuals who rely on cannabis as medicine.
"You need to allow the craft cannabis market – the people that have been growing pot for years… and know what they're doing," says Backer. "They just need to stop prosecuting – I mean, if it's legal, why are people still going to jail for it?
Still, Halifax Regional Police maintain their stance on the matter of dispensaries operating in any capacity.
"They are illegal, they were illegal before, and they remain illegal," says Halifax Regional Police Const. John McLeod. "You should fully expect to be subject to a police investigation if you are operating one of these or if you are within, you could face criminal charges."
Meanwhile, Enns will continue with his legal battle on Thursday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Natasha Pace