Saturday, February 19, 2005

Who is the real criminal here?

This makes me angry:

Leola Nicholas is a London grandmother on a disability pension. She has a number of life-threatening illnesses and relies on a motorized scooter.

She has eight children and nine grandchildren.

She also has a criminal record for growing pot.

"Madam, I have no idea why you would get into this kind of situation at this point in your life," Superior Court Justice Gordon Killeen told Nicholas, 60, as she pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Nicholas, who came to court on her scooter, said nothing.

She was given a one-year conditional sentence.

[. . . . ]

Nicholas's ongoing medical woes stalled the case for almost four years. Her lawyer, Craig McLean, said her court dates were adjourned because of a number of hospital admissions for kidney failure and stroke-like episodes.

Her family doctor of 30 years died and it took six months before she found a new physician, McLean said.

Nicholas's ailments include insulin-dependent diabetes, heart disease, asthma, bronchial disease and joint degeneration. She takes more than a dozen medications.

She can walk short distances with a cane, he said, but relies mostly on the scooter.

Nicholas had been on bail for four years without incident. Her criminal record dated back to 1998 for a property offence.

Killeen ordered Nicholas to spend the first six months confined to her home except for medical appointments and church and for an hour once a week for necessities. During the last six months, Nicholas must observe a 9 p.m. curfew.

She was also given a 10-year weapons prohibition.

Killeen warned her that if she finds herself before the courts again for the same kind of charges, she will be in "serious and deep trouble."
Did they find weapons in Ms. Nicholas' possession? There is no mention of this in the article. Just because a person grows marijuana, it does not mean they are a violent offender. We can thank the legislators for making marijuana a false crime and thus encouraging the black market, which is where the correlation between drugs and weapons comes from. And as for the curfew, how ridiculous - considering the state of Ms. Nicholas' health, I doubt she is going to be out past 9 bar hopping and whopping it up. Perhaps the worry is that she will go out on a shooting spree on her scooter? What next time, Mr. self righteous judge? Jail time for an old and sick woman for the possession of a plant? She didn't even 'steal' the hydro - she paid the same inflated rate the rest of us do here in Ontario.

The police should be out there fighting the real criminals, for example, those that violate the property rights of others.

1 Comment:

Danielle said...

I was appalled when I heard about this as well. Just when it seems that the state is starting to understand that these types of "criminal" operations should be the least of their worries, they have to go and bust a grannie. A victimless crime, that by its prosecution, has indeed created a victim.

Thanks for posting this.