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Court hearing coming up for mountie who uses medical marijuana

Jan. 4, 2014 at 8:20 PM

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Psychiatric testing of a Canadian Mountie charged with assault may have been meant to keep him from talking about his medical marijuana use, his lawyer says.

Cpl. Ron Francis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is scheduled to appear in court Monday in New Brunswick, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The evaluation was ordered in early December after Francis was charged with assaulting another police officer. He was arrested after he was presented with a form allowing him to be hospitalized for 30 days.

Francis, a 20-year veteran of the RCMP, was prescribed marijuana recently for work-related post-traumatic stress disorder. In November, he said publicly he should be able to smoke marijuana in uniform.

T.J. Burke, Francis' lawyer, said his client does not believe his arrest was justified or that the form sending him for a 30-day evaluation was valid. Burke said the real issue in the case is Francis' PTSD and the police force's failure to deal with it, and not the marijuana.

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