TRURO – A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has rejected a bid by a man facing drug charges to have well-known medical marijuana advocate Christopher Enns represent him when his case goes to trial.
Andrew Douglas Hillman is facing charges of production of marijuana under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
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He elected trial by judge and jury but asked the court permission to have Enns represent him during the trial.
Enns, who owns Farm Assists Cannabis Resource Centre Dispensary in Halifax, is not a lawyer.
The medical marijuana lounge provides people with medical marijuana licences legal access to the drug.
Enns himself has had several run-ins with the law.
He was arrested in 2013 and 2014 and charged with possession and trafficking.
Earlier this month, police once again served a warrant at his Halifax store front. Enns was arrested and charged once again with possession and trafficking.
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Hillman asked the court to allow Enns to represent him, saying because the Criminal Code of Canada doesn’t expressly prohibit lay representation in indictable matters, it must be considered an available option to defendants.
Hillman has tried this tactic before and has twice been rejected. The matter eventually made its way to the Supreme Court and was heard earlier this year.
The written decision on the matter was released this week, a month after Hillman was scheduled to begin his jury trial.
In his decision, Judge Jeffery Hunt rejected Hillman’s arguments and writes that other judges have concluded that “Mr. Enns is not a suitable person to act as an agent.”
Hunt goes on to say that he won’t weigh in on the suitability question, only to conclude that the nature of Hillman’s charges do not allow for lay representation.
The judge goes further, urging Hillman in no uncertain terms, to get legal counsel.
“This would not exclude you from taking advice from others, but proper legal advice is an invaluable part of ensuring your best interests are protected,” Grant writes in his seven page decision.