The trial of six men charged after one of the biggest grow-op busts in Saskatchewan's history heard Tuesday that the thousands of marijuana plants seized were for medicinal purposes.
The six are charged with production and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
They were charged after the RCMP raided several greenhouses on the Pasqua First Nation near Fort Qu'Appelle in August 2005. The Crown said $3 million worth of marijuana could have been harvested from the 6,000 marijuana plants seized in the raid.
However, defendant Lawrence Agecoutay, 52, who calls himself a spiritual chief, a title he says is based on his lineage, testified he was directed by "the Creator" to grow the plants to provide the ingredients for a cure for diabetes."
"As the Creator has instructed me, I must do," he said outside court. "You know, when the Creator tells me I must do something, I have absolutely no choice. In our system it is to dream, to learn, and to do. You receive your instruction while your body sleeps, you learn about your instructions, and then you do as you're instructed."
He said aboriginal people, including both of his parents, have been ravaged by diabetes. He said his own mother underwent several amputations before she died of the disease.
"The people are dying everyday; we have to stop that, someone has to fight for our people," Agecoutay said.
With the Queen's Bench trial into its third week, Agecoutay is scheduled to continue his testimony Wednesday.
Change the laws before more harmless people get thrown into jail.