Nova Scotia Transgender Evades Jail Time in Pot Bust

A young Nova Scotia man has evaded a 30-day jail sentence even after being arrested from a property with almost four dozen marijuana plants due to “unique personal circumstances.” 25-year-old Jesiah Dean MacDonald was found in custody of 46 marijuana plants at a residence on February 20.

Court documents revealed that MacDonald had co-operated well with the authorities while pleading guilty to producing marijuana. However, he revealed during investigating that neither the residence nor the plants were his, but in fact he was only paid to take care of them. Even though such offence can also result in 14 years of jail in some cases, but MacDonald was spared due to him being first-time offender with no criminal history. Apart from that, MacDonald was allowed leniency due to the fact that he is a transgender seeking sexual reassignment surgery, while suffering from Crohn’s disease and using marijuana to manage the painful symptoms.

Justice Nick Scaravelli stated that “I am satisfied there are unusual circumstances in the present case. I do not doubt that changing one gender’s identity is a life altering and difficult process.” He explained that “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.” He added that “the offender appears to be an individual who is not likely to lead a criminal lifestyle,” and so “I am also cognizant of the possibility that the offender’s transgender identity could result in personal difficulties if placed in a correctional facility.”

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