UPDATED: Supporters of marijuana advocate protest outside Amherst courthouse

UPDATE: McCormick remanded back into custody until Sept. 11

Published on August 28, 2017

Donna Thibodeau was rallying support outside Amherst Provincial Court for a Northport man she says provides medicine to those who need it. RCMP, however, say fifty-two year old Daren Wayne McCormick was in illegal possession of marijuana and firearms.

©Christopher Gooding/The Citizen-Record

Amherst – Support for a Cumberland County man charged with marijuana and firearm offences showed up early Aug. 28th for his first court appearance since being arrested almost a week ago.

Fifty-two-year-old Daren Wayne McCormick was remanded back into custody until Sept. 11, after a brief afternoon court appearance in Amherst Provincial Court on Aug. 28. McCormick was arrested five days earlier and charged after Cumberland RCMP and a street crime unit conducted a search at a Northport home. Ten handguns, a shotgun, drug paraphernalia and what police descried as a large number of marijuana plants were removed from the home. Supporters, however, say McCormick provides medicinal marijuana to those afflicted with cancers and other ailments.

“He heals people with cancer,” Donna Thibodeau said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the oil… what they are doing is wrong.”

Thibodeau travelled from Bathurst, N.B. to show her support for McCormick outside Amherst Provincial Court ahead of his hearing. Thibodeau says McCormick helped her cure her recover from a number of ailments using marijuana refined down to an oil, colloquially known as ‘Rick Simpson oil’ after the local medicinal marijuana advocate who popularized its use.

Thibodeau was not alone in her support for McCormick and as the 9:30 a.m. hearing approached, more support followed.

 “He was going to people with hemp oil, not charging anybody for nothing, and saving people’s lives,” Albert Dwyer said.

Dwyer said he suffered from colon cancer and used marijuana oil in place of radiation and chemotherapy with positive results. According to Dwyer, McCormick’s arrest was keeping medicine from those who need it.

“Why should they put someone in jail who’s saving people’s lives,” Dwyer said.

Online support for McCormick has grown to include a #freeDaren hashtag, and the Facebook page EAST-Canada Friends has offered extensive support for McCormick since his arrest.

McCormick is charged with:

•   Production of marijuana

•   Possession of marihuana for the purpose of trafficking

•   Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition

•   Eight counts of unsafe storage of a firearm

•   Eight counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm

•   Eight counts of possession of a firearm knowing possession is unauthorized

•    Two counts of possession of a firearm while prohibited.