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Air force member from Nova Scotia speaks out on drug charges

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Air force member from Nova Scotia speaks out on drug charges

Post by Guest on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 18:57

'Bogus:' Air force member from Nova Scotia speaks out on drug charges.

Nicholas Burrell of 14 Wing Greenwood says he suffers from mental illness and marijuana seized was for medicinal purposes.

Aug 16 2016

A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force who’s facing drug and firearm offences says he intends to fight what he calls “bogus” charges.
Nicholas Burrell, 28, says he believes he was unfairly targeted for using medical marijuana to treat his mental health issues.
“The way it was worded made it seem that I was running around with a gun and selling weed,” Burrell said about the Canadian Forces news release sent to media on Tuesday.
“What they don’t say is that I am a mental health patient awaiting a medical release for mental health issues and I have a valid prescription for medical marijuana.”
Burrell says he was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.
The aviator grew up in Cole Harbour and has been in the air force for almost six years. He works at 14 Wing Greenwood and lives in Auburn.
He called Metro Halifax on Tuesday after details of the charges against him were made public.
“I feel like it makes me seem like I’m a drug dealing gangster when I’m just a mental health patient who has marijuana,” he said.

“Because the military has a rule where you’re not allowed to do it and I went to a civilian doctor to get the medical marijuana licence, they had an issue with that and things are tumbling down on my head left and right.”

In addition to one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, Burrell was charged with one count of production of substance. He admitted to creating hash oil, but said he did that for his own consumption.
“I am not going to fight that because I did do that. And I know you’re not allowed to do that, but it’s easier for me (than smoking) because I have asthma,” he said.
Burrell is also facing four firearms charges, but said the firearm in question is an antique (150 years old) with seized firing pins that was hanging on the wall of his “man cave.” He said he "just happened to have extra cash" in his house when police executed their search on May 14.
“I feel that this is wrong. I feel that it’s irresponsible of them to go and throw my name into the press when I have a mental health condition and have attempted suicide before,” he said.
“I have been working to get better and I have been getting better with my mental health issues.”
Burrell said he believes medical marijuana should be an option not just for military veterans, but for serving members. He plans to fight the charges.
“I understand it’s public knowledge and they want (people) to know about dangerous drug dealers on the street but I’m not that,” he said.
“It’d be different if I was a heroin addict and I was using heroin and they came in and took a bunch of heroin. But I’m a medical marijuana patient.”
In response to Burrell’s concerns, military spokesman Lt. Blake Patterson said there wasn’t much he could say because it could influence the judicial proceedings.
“Key to it I think is understanding that the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service…is an independent group within the military and that allows them to do the investigations that they do,” Patterson said.
“They then go out and they do their job. Really their role is to determine the facts and analyze the evidence and lay charges. So with that in place at this point there’s not a lot more that can be said.”


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