Marijuana Party leader pleads guilty


Nunavut’s leader of the Marijuana Party pleaded guilty to longstanding drug-related charges in an Iqaluit court this Tuesday.

Ed deVries pleaded guilty to trafficking marijuana and laundering the proceeds of crime, two charges he’s faced since August 2004.

The charges stem from an RCMP investigation that began in December 2003, when police intercepted a filing cabinet containing $100,000 worth of marijuana in Montreal during a Canada Post inspection. The cabinet was bound for a company owned by deVries in Iqaluit.

Earlier this year, deVries’ accomplice, Andrew Macdonald, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and is currently serving 90 days in prison.

Several weeks ago deVries told Nunatsiaq News he planned to stand trial in Igloolik by jury. He said he believed he would be acquitted, given the number of pot smokers he says live in the community.

Since then he’s been accused of tarnishing the community’s reputation by angry residents and Igloolik’s mayor, Paul Quassa. Quassa has said some elders want deVries banished.

DeVries is to appear for sentencing in Igloolik on Sept. 25.

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