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Pot Crusader Jailed, Travel Up In Smoke

LdyLunatic

i wanna be cool too!
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by Christine Cox,
A defence lawyer says pot crusader Chris Goodwin has effectively been "run out of town" as a result of prosecution over his now closed Up In Smoke Cafe.

Goodwin wants to move to Vancouver.

But he isn't going anywhere yet.

Justice Anton Zuraw sentenced him yesterday to three and a half months in jail, on top of the 38 days he spent there before trial.

Zuraw also fined him $300 and put him on probation for two years.

Goodwin, 27, had pleaded guilty to five charges: possession of cannabis resin, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, selling or distributing drug paraphernalia, breach of bail conditions and promoting the sale of various items used in the consumption of marijuana.

Five other charges were withdrawn.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Levy said Goodwin opened the cafe on King Street East in August 2004, just a few blocks from the police station knowing he would be in the cops' face.

At one point, he even displayed a notice implying that police endorsed his business.

His cafe led to numerous complaints from the community.

In an interview with police after his arrest last March 8, Goodwin denied selling marijuana, but admitted to trafficking it by giving, trading and bartering.

He admitted selling edible items containing marijuana and selling marijuana seeds by mail order.

Goodwin was released on bail, but in April he took part in a rally outside city hall where individuals were openly smoking marijuana and passing out free marijuana cigarettes to others in the crowd, including undercover police officers. His bail was later revoked.

Levy said jail time on top of pretrial custody was necessary to deter Goodwin and others from flagrantly flouting the law.

Defence lawyer Peter Boushy argued the time served was sufficient.

"I think the point has been made ... he has learned his lesson the hard way," Boushy said.

He said Goodwin has job opportunities in Vancouver -- with a New Democrat constituency association and with an advertising company.

Goodwin apologized in court and said he did not intend to harm anybody.

But the judge said Goodwin deliberately broke the law in a fashion meant to taunt those whose job it was to enforce it.

Describing the Up In Smoke Cafe as a "highly publicized, in-your-face operation," the judge called it surprising this enterprise was licensed by the City of Hamilton.

Goodwin's probation order bans him from using non-medically prescribed drugs or being in any premises where they are sold or promoted.

He's also forbidden to attend any rallies where there's open use, display or promotion of marijuana.
 

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