Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

RCMP investigating man with medical-marijuana licence after being pulled over

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Thaddeus Conrad  shows his medical-marijuana permit and a supply of his pot. Despite his allegedly harsh treatment, he says he would accept an apology and feels the officers are simply ignorant about medical-marijuana laws.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Thaddeus Conrad shows his medical-marijuana permit and a supply of his pot. Despite his allegedly harsh treatment, he says he would accept an apology and feels the officers are simply ignorant about medical-marijuana laws. Photo Store

A man who was apprehended by RCMP for possessing 1,100 grams of marijuana — despite possessing a Health Canada licence authorizing possession for personal medical purposes — is under investigation, a police spokesman said.

Sgt. Line Karpish also denied claims by suspect Thaddeus Conrad that he was physically manhandled without cause.

"He resisted arrest," Karpish said, adding, "I’m not getting into details. We still have to mount a case."

Karpish said Conrad, 32, was released with a promise to appear in St. Pierre-Jolys Provincial Court on Aug. 27th. Although no formal charges have been laid, the RCMP investigation continues.

"There’s more than one way to skin a cat," Karpish said.

Conrad was pulled over by a roving Checkstop on Highway 52, west of Steinbach, around 7 p.m. on Saturday. Police say the Honda Odyssey the suspect was driving had a burned out headlight.

Officers noted the odour of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and that Conrad was "uncooperative with officers and resisted arrest."

In an interview with the Free Press on Sunday, Conrad said he told the officers he had a Health Canada licence authorizing possession of up to 1,080 grams of marijuana for medical use. He notified officers of the licence at the scene. An RCMP press release on Monday confirmed that "Health Canada has confirmed that this individual is authorized — for personal use only — to possess and produce marijuana."

Conrad insisted he was in compliance with his licence and believes the apprehension was unlawful.

On Monday, however, police said evidence confiscated from the van — including 1,100 grams of dried marijuana divided into 20 baggies, two cellphones, a calculator and $700 cash — led officers to escort Conrad to the RCMP detachment in St. Pierre-Joly for processing.

Karpish said the licence doesn’t absolve Conrad from a potential investigation given the evidence.

"It’s a controlled substance the last time I checked," she said. "If their activities (people who have a licence to possess medical marijuana) are within the certificate, then life goes on. (But) If you come across this type of evidence... maybe you wouldn’t have figured it out, but in our view that warrants further investigation."

Conrad, meanwhile, said Sunday he was going to demand an apology from the RCMP officers who made the arrest "within seven days."

"The abuse of power, the way I was treated, was unacceptable," he said.

randy.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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