Although Canada is well on its way to creating a legal adult-use cannabis market across the country, Prime Minister Trudeau’s refusal to decriminalize has seen many objections. The opposition comes from members of his own party, other parties and even former Prime Ministers.
Now, in what is the starkest example of this policy gone wrong, a 49-year-old father of three from Edmonton has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for selling edibles.
Mitchell Scott Ennis was initially given a 25-month sentence before Justice Ken Nielsen said that amount of jail time would be “unduly harsh.”
Police seized approximately $300,000 worth of product from Ennis’ home and business, The Studio Music Foundation. The products included flower, shatter, hash, marijuana oil, and various edibles. Ennis pleaded guilty to the charges and although his lawyer suggested that Ennis pay a $5,000 fine and serve his sentence within the community, the Canadian justice system thought it would be better to hand down a prison term. This was despite a courtroom full of supporters and 55 letters of reference that were given to the judge.
The pre-sentencing report showed that Ennis felt he was helping people with access to needed cannabis edibles for the treatment of various ailments. Cannabis edibles in Canada are currently a controversial topic and are not permitted in the licensed community.
Outside the courtroom, eldest son Tyler Ennis commented on the harsh ruling by saying “It just seems like a waste of time. As the judge said, he’s not going to look at where society is going, which really floors me.”
Ennis was also found with other contraband including magic mushrooms, LSD, and a Taser. “It’s worth noting there was an additional weapons charge (Taser) and in the news footage there was gold stamped hash and also edibles infused with mushrooms. Prosecutors do not look kindly to distributing other drugs along with cannabis,” said Lisa Campbell who is the Co-Founder of The Green Market, a popular underground cannabis edibles event.
This prison sentence comes a few months before legal adult-use marijuana legislation is set to become a reality across the country.
Photo courtesy of Roxana Gonzalez.
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