Pot-smoking RCMP officer still wants story told, says lawyer
Cpl. Ron Francis undergoing psychiatric assessment after being charged with assault on colleague
The lawyer for a Mountie who is on medical leave after he smoked medicinal marijuana on the job, and is undergoing a psychiatric assessment following his arrest on another issue, says his client is doing fine and wants to continue to tell his story.
Cpl. Ron Francis was remanded to the Restigouche Hospital Center in Campbellton after his arrest in Fredericton last week.
Lawyer T.J. Burke says Francis is doing better and he wants to continue to tell his story.
Francis made national news earlier this month when he went public with his demands to be able to smoke medicinal marijuana while in RCMP uniform.
Francis has a prescription for medical marijuana to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that he says is related to his 21 years with the RCMP.
After Francis was photographed while smoking a joint in uniform, RCMP showed up at his home on Kingsclear First Nation to confiscate his RCMP uniforms and related apparel.
The following day, Francis attended J Division headquarters in Fredericton to turn over his RCMP red serge.
Francis remains a Mountie. However, he was placed on medical leave.
Kingsclear Chief Gabriel Atwin says he was stunned last week after Francis was Tasered, arrested, handcuffed and charged with assaulting a Mountie in Fredericton.
"[That's] completely uncharacteristic of Ron," said Atwin. "He's a law-abiding citizen and a great guy."
Atwin says members of his community are supporting Francis as he continues to call for better treatment for police officers with PTSD.
Atwin, a former U.S. marine, says he knows all about PTSD and the carnage it can cause in a person's life.
"I just hope that the RCMP understands that with people that are suffering this illness, that they find a way to treat these guys," he said.
"Not just, `I don't know . Not just, ``Lock them up,' or whatever," he said. "I am not sure – kinda lost for words with the process."
Francis is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 6 following his 30-day psychiatric assessment.