An RCMP corporal who made headlines for smoking medicinal marijuana while in uniform will be back in a New Brunswick court today on an assault charge.
Cpl. Ron Francis was sent to the Restigouche Hospital Center in Campbellton last month for a 30-day psychiatric assessment following a confrontation with police officers in downtown Fredericton.
Lawyer T.J. Burke, who represents Francis, says Monday's hearing in Fredericton provincial court will determine whether his client goes on trial on the charge of assaulting a police officer.
"I believe you'll see a much different Mr. Francis than we did on Dec. 7 when he was sent to the facility, and the results will come back with respect to what the psychiatric assessment recommends," said Burke. "And that's one of two things – whether he's criminally responsible for his actions, or not criminally responsible for his actions."
In November, Francis was stripped of his RCMP uniform and placed on medical leave for smoking marijuana on video in his ceremonial gear. Francis had a prescription for the drug to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
On. Dec. 6, Francis was arrested in Fredericton after a confrontation with fellow Mounties and Fredericton police officers.
The RCMP had a Form 1 document, signed by a police doctor, that allowed Francis to be detained temporarily under the Mental Health Act.
Burke has previously questioned the RCMP's motives for seeking a psychiatric assessment of Francis.
"Was it a legitimate document? Was it a valid document?" asked Burke.
"Was it a document that was just created by the RCMP to see Mr. Francis sent away for 30 days so he would stop speaking about his issue with regards to medicinal marijuana to the press?"
While Francis has been stripped of his RCMP uniforms, he remains a police officer and has been placed on leave.
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