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The Transgender Defense


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A transgender Nova Scotia man with Crohn's disease avoided the usual jail sentence that comes with producing marijuana because of his "unique personal circumstances."


Jesiah Dean MacDonald pleaded guilty to producing marijuana after cops found 46 pot plants in an apartment. The Crown sought a 30-day jail sentence, which is standard even for a first-time offence. Instead, the judge fined MacDonald $1,000 and sentenced him to one year's probation.


MacDonald said he was being paid to look after the plants and the apartment, neither of which he owned. He gave cops the name of the owner, who was later charged. He said he planned to use the money to fund female-to-male gender reassignment surgery. He also suffers from Crohn's disease, an often painful bowel disease, and said he relies on marijuana to ease the pain.


"The difficulty in the present case is balancing the need for a strong statement of denunciation and general deterrence and addressing the offender's unique personal circumstances as well as the circumstances of this case," Judge N. M. Scaravelli wrote in his decision. "I do not doubt that changing one gender's identity is a life-altering and difficult process. "The offender's motive for committing the offence directly relates to the process of changing gender. The offender made a poor choice in attempting to achieve that goal."


Scaravelli also said MacDonald seems unlikely to lead a criminal lifestyle.


"I am also cognizant of the possibility that the offender's transgender identity could result in personal difficulties if placed in a correctional facility," the judge wrote.


Original article here.

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