A medical cannabis user in Calgary has had their charges withdrawn after they challenged a bylaw ticket.
The vague bylaw language proved to be weak for any court battle and the woman, Lisa Kirkman, has had several tickets withdrawn as a result. Kirkman was ticketed for her use of her medical cannabis in the city of Calgary after she medicated in a Calgary Transit bus shelter.
Overall, Kirkman received about $1500 in fines for her cannabis use. Kirkman says that she was charged many times within just a few weeks and she was prepared to challenge her fines as a Charter of Rights and Freedoms case and after a year of ongoing battle, the charges against her were withdrawn because, according to her lawyer, the language surrounding the bylaw was too vague as to whether or not they included cannabis smoke. Kirkman insists that there is something wrong with the scenario because she continued to receive the tickets for her cannabis smoking, “city employees don’t know what the actual law is,” she says and that has prompted the costly legal issues she’s been experiencing.
Given her health condition, Kirkman has to medicate several times a day; sometimes as much as every 15 minutes. She doesn’t feel that she should have to suffer because she needs to medicate herself with a plant in order to improve her symptoms so that she can enjoy her life. “It’s not the city’s job to decide whether or not medical marijuana is a good thing… They need to accommodate my needs and recognize I’m someone with a disability that needs a particular type of therapy,” Kirkman said.