Lynn Wood loses everything for one gram first offence
by Marc Emery (02 Jun, 2005)
Judge Murray Cain in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, sentences wonderful med-pot martyr to one year in grim jail.
There was a very rigourous membership requirement at the HEMP NB
Medical Marijuana store in Saint John New Brunswick. You needed a sworn
affidavit before a notary stating you had a medical condition which you
believed marijuana alleviated. Or you needed a section 56 exemption
card issued by the Canadian federal government. Or you needed a signed
letter from your doctor which HEMP NB verified by calling your doctor.
One of those three.
So although it was unusual when the club received its first underage
application, the circumstances were compelling. A 15 year old said he
had a pin in his arm from surgery and needed pot to deal with lingering
pain. He even went so far as to swear before a notary public in a sworn
affidavit that this was so. His application was then accepted.
Apparently, he would sell some of that pot to his friends at school.
When cops arrested the teen for selling, charges against him were
dropped if he would provide testimony against HEMP NB. It would take a
long time for the police to gather evidence though. All the other
members of the HEMP NB Compassion Club were bona-fide, including four
section 56 exemptees, and all others with confirmed and compelling
doctor's endorsements. There was nothing odd about any other member
that police could intimidate or abuse.
So in order for Saint John police to get actual evidence, they would go
undercover and make applications at the Compassion Club. Except, as the
police on the witness stand admitted, their bogus applications were
always rejected by HEMP NB. The police videotaped the front door of
HEMP NB for months and could find no other anomalies. So then a police
officer named Brian Hutchison came into HEMP NB and submitted an
application with a letter from his doctor. His application was left to
an employee to verify because, as Jim Wood explained, "we had an actual
wedding going on in HEMP NB that day, and this guy wanted his
application fast tracked, so I gave the application to an employee to
verify. Normally I would check the doctor's name in the phone book and
call their office. You typically talk to a secretary and you confirm
the patient exists with that condition."
But the employee was naive, and only called the doctor's office listed
in the letter from the 'doctor.' A man claiming to be a doctor did
indeed answer, but it was, in fact, Detective Bruce Hutchison's
superior officer. And the 'doctor' did indeed write that letter and of
course he could confirm the 'patient' had that condition, and was very
co-operative. It's legal now, after the last revision to the Controlled
Substances Act, for a police officer to lie in the course of an
So Detective Hutchison was accepted as a member. He bought one gram of
marijuana for $15 from a petite mother of three, seven months pregnant,
Lyn Wood is a devoted believer in medical marijuana. This was her
place, with her husband Jim. She knew all about the benefits of
therapeutic marijuana during her pregnancies. Lynn saw the improvement
in her husband, Jim, in the way his spinal damage caused by a car
accident in 1992 was made bearable for him.
So after purchasing this one gram packet of marijuana, enough to roll
two joints perhaps, the Saint John police moved in on HEMP NB.
On April 23, 2004, at 11.30 a.m., 16 to 20 police officers of the Saint
John police violently entered HEMP NB. Jim & Lynn were not there,
volunteer Dane Richards told Cannabis Culture that he was thrown on top
of another co-worker during the arrest. He said of the police, "they
took all our bongs, pipes, rolling papers, all our merchandise. Even
our stamp pads and garbage. Plus all the pot for our members."
Police even took all the store's books, literature and copies of Cannabis Culture Magazine.
In total, several thousands of dollars worth of material was taken.
Lynn Wood was charged with one count of trafficking. One gram sold to
'patient' undercover cop Bruce Hutchison. He of the fraudulent doctor's
But Lynn Wood was no ordinary advocate. She had been doing this since
early September of 2003, almost nine months now. When she worked,
husband John looked after Celine, born Dec. 15, 1999, Tom, born Dec.
27, 2001 and youngest Izetta, born Dec. 4, 2003, while operating HEMP
NB. It was quite a juggle, but both parents were always looking after
the kids, whether it was Jim or Lynn. All three were breastfed, Celine
for three years, Tom was only just weaned off when Izetta was born.
Lynn was a full time nursing mother and med-pot advocate since HEMP NB
opened in 1999, and she wasn't going to let one gram in the wrong hands
She re-opened HEMP NB immediately after getting released on bail. She
continued to sell to all her members. She still did not know who had
bought the pot that lead to the enormous police resources being poured
upon her store & Compassion Club, so all members were still members.
Including member Bruce Hutchison, who's real purpose & identity
still remained hidden from Lynn Wood. He came in and bought one more
gram one day in May.
On June 3, 2004, a dozen police came and raided HEMP NB again, once again taking any inventory with them.
A second charge of trafficking was laid against Lynn, along with two
possession with intent to sell charges for the one pound of pot in the
med-pot safe from the first raid, and 8 ounces in the safe at the time
of the second raid.
After being found guilty of the two trafficking charges of one gram
each, Judge Murray Cain was left to consider sentencing. The judge did
not think Lynn Wood was a bad person, merely one who was determined to
keep selling, and for that she would have to be restrained and
punished. Despite the judge's belief, there was no claim that Lynn Wood
had sold any pot after the June 3, 2004 raid on HEMP NB, virtually a
year ago to the decision Judge Cain brought down on June 1st, 2005.
Lynn Wood was 7-months pregnant, with three children, this was her
first offence ever. The court was only able to show one patient had
resold small amounts of marijuana bought at the club, and that a police
officer posing as a doctor-approved med-patient had tried on several
occasions to buy pot. Other testimony centred on the many desperate
Section 56 exemptees like Patrick Hardy who claimed that HEMP NB was
the only qualified place for him to buy marijuana in all of New
Brunswick, as he had rejected the Canadian government pot agency's
marijuana as inadequate. Patrick Hardy has sinced moved to Montreal
because New Brunswick became too difficult a place for a med-pot
patient to live. Yet the Judge did not think it unreasonable in the
least that Lynn Wood would be torn from her three tightly bonded
children for up to a year, or that she would give birth in jail, and
that her baby would immediately be taken from her and given to her
husband John, motherless for 6 – 10 months. The judge did not think it
unreasonable that Lynn would pump breastmilk while in prison so it
could be shipped home for husband Jim to bottlefeed to little Jimmy.
(It's a boy, they checked.) The judge sentenced her to one year in a
grim jail. Lynn was led away to jail after the sentence was imposed.
Lynn Woods remains extraordinary by any account. She is the first
med-pot Compassion Club owner in Canada to be sentenced to jail. She is
the first pregnant activist of our movement to be ordered into jail and
to have a child in prison, then to have it wrenched from her. This is
the first known instance where undercover police posed as med-pot
patients with the complicity of their superior officers, to the extent
that police would pose as a doctor, issue letters as a doctor. After
repeatedly trying to join the club, the undercover police applications
always went rejected until the police themselves posed as doctors and
If you wish to offer support to the fine Lynn Wood and Jim Wood, you
may call Jim at 506-657-4769 or 506-333-6808. Lynn is right now at:
Lynn Wood, Saint John Correctional Centre,
930 Old Black River Rd.,
Saint John, New Brunswick E2J 4T3
And you can write to her at that address. She will serve a minimum of
eight months of the 12 month sentence. She will, godspeed, give birth
there in the first week of August to a healthy Jimmy, Jr.
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