2 min


Although Jim Wakeford is legally entitled to smoke pot, Peel police seized a shipment of weed at Pearson International Airport.

And then they wouldn’t give it back.

“This is harassment,” says Wakeford, who has AIDS and was given permission by the federal health department to use pot as a medicine. It controls nausea and allows him to eat.

But the shipment was stopped on May 11. It was one of two sent to Wakeford.

Wakeford is ill and can’t grow his own; he was offered pot by the Compassion Club in Vancouver, an organization dedicated to providing its members with clean cannabis.

“The first shipment arrived safely, the second one was confiscated by the police. I was informed of this by a phone call at 7:30am.

“No money changed hands,” he adds, of the Compassion Club’s help. “They were generous enough to give some.”

Police refused to return the package, even after discovering that Wakeford is allowed to have it.

Peel police had no comment and referred calls to the RCMP; officers there knew nothing.

Says Wakeford: “My lawyers had to go to court to get it. The judge ordered the police to return the marijuana.”

Justice Kathy Hawke made the decision on Jun 26, a month and a half after it was seized.

Wakeford asserts that his most recent problems would be alleviated if the federal government would give him a safe supply of pot. He even went to court to fight for this right.

But in April, another judge refused Wakeford’s demand that the federal government be forced to provide him with marijuana.

That judge “ruled that I could get pot as easy as anything. That judge was terribly mistaken in his assessment. I lost that round, it was a very tough blow. I’m in a bizarre situation, it’s a right without a remedy.”

For Wakeford, access to medicinal pot is not the only problem. From someone in Health Canada leaking to the media the names of those who’ve received waivers for pot smoking, to having to leave his Church St home for three months because of exposure to mold, Wakeford’s had his share of difficulties.

“I’ve had horrendous problems.”

Perhaps the most trying was going to court again to get back the $5,000 stolen by his former lawyer, Jorden Kolman.

“I was in the hospital in March 1998 and nearly died. When I came out, it took a long time to find out that my money wasn’t there. After months and months I got almost all of it back from the law society. It was money my friends had donated.”

The cash had been donated to help Wakeford’s high legal costs. He hopes to raise another $15,000 to launch an appeal to fight for a government supply of pot.

“I’m really down right now. I’m licking my wounds, and I’m sick and tired. Hopefully that’ll all pass and I’ll be spunky again.”

Wakeford fought in court for years and won what’s called a Section 56 exemption in 1999, which gives him the “legal right to use marijuana and grow it.”