Pot-smoking Mountie Ron Francis begins trial on 3 charges

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Cpl. Ron Francis, a 21-year veteran of the RCMP, is due to stand trial on three charges in Fredericton provincial court. (CBC)

A New Brunswick Mountie who made national headlines for smoking medical marijuana while in uniform last year is due to stand trial today on three charges.

Cpl. Ron Francis previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of assaulting fellow officers and one count of resisting arrest.

The charges stem from an alleged confrontation with fellow RCMP officers and Fredericton police officers who arrested him on Dec. 6 on a mental health warrant.

T.J. Burke, his defence lawyer, has previously questioned the RCMP’s motives for seeking a psychiatric assessment of his client.

Burke questioned whether the RCMP were trying to stop Francis from taking his case to the media again, but RCMP said Francis was arrested because officers were concerned about his well-being.

Francis, a 21-year veteran of the RCMP, who served with the J Division in Fredericton, says he suffers from work-induced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has a prescription for medical-grade marijuana.

He has publicly argued he should be able to smoke the drug in uniform and has accused the RCMP of trying to force members with PTSD to quit.

Burke has said he plans to “call lots of witnesses and call lots of evidence and get right down to the bottom of why Mr. Francis is facing three charges.”

Three days have been set aside for the trial in Fredericton provincial court.

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