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George Robert Johnston

George (2nd from left) with his family

On October 1, 1997, my husband George Robert Johnston was arrested for the cultivation of marijuana with intent to traffic in Prince Edward Island Canada.

He had NO previous record, was 43 years old at the time and had been a drywaller/painter for 25 years preceding his arrest. He and I were separated at the time and he was living on a piece of property I own(ed) in a motor home.

At the time of his arrest he was watching our four daughters while I was out of province for medical treatment. I have leukemia. The children were in the motor home and completely unaware of what he was doing, as was I.

Apparently a neighbouring farmer went on the property to retrieve a loose pig, saw a small portion of the grow, and informed the RCMP immediately. Later he led them (the RCMP) right ONTO the sight and pointed out the crop. Without warrants the police hid in the woods and waited for my husband to come into their sights, and then they arrested him.

He was growing over four thousand plants, but the RCMP had no idea. I feel this is what made them so zealous in their pursuit of him.

My children were apprehended by CPS before I had a chance to return to the island. Subsequently the police seized: the land (80 acres I had owned for three years) my husband's truck and motorhome, a home we were renovating, and as a final insult, my car. I was arrested and charged with all offenses since I owned the property he grew on.

I admitted marijuana use and was sent to a local detox center for Rehab. My use was STRICTLY medicinal, marijuana or morphine, I chose marijuana; this was ignored and I was forced to stand in front of my peers and state that I was a drug addict. Needless to say this did nothing in my struggle to have my children returned to me.

On January 28th, after spending over 4 months in maximum security after the court decided he was a danger to society, George was sentenced to 4 years for cultivation, 4 1/2 years for trafficking, and 3 separate month sentences for improper storage of weapons. He had a handgun and a rifle in the motorhome that I had refused to allow him to keep at home.

He was transferred from PEI to NS (Springhill Institution) after his sentencing. I and our girls were not able to visit there because I had NO means of transportation and no money. We are on Welfare now and barely surviving. Then he was transferred to Westmorland Institution in NB, a minimum security facility but equally as hard to get to. I have visited there twice.

So, the tally of victims: We have four daughters, Clara 11, Meghan 10, Katherin 8, and Tessa 6. Tessa has begun to forget what her father looks like. The children have visited once since this began and I have to have permission from CPS to take them out of the province. I have a 6 month supervision order that started when my children were returned to me on December 19th, 1997. My parenting was never in question until I admitted to smoking marijuana. I am struggling to have my belongings returned since my charges were dropped. My belongings were taken because the RCMP wrongly assumes they were bought with the proceeds of crime, I committed NO crime. My only option now is to sue the RCMP which is a long and costly battle which i can afford neither emotionally... nor financially.

My husband's father was a brigadier general, highest ranking soldier on the island, he died in May of 97. His mother is 79 years old and stands by us all, angry at her government for what they've done to her son and his family.

This war is pitiful... and it seems as a common citizen I am unarmed. My tears are constant and bitter, not only for my own family, but for the thousands of others who fight the same battle we do. We were a viable, contributing family, until this, now we are dependant on a government that has robbed us of our possessions, and our hapiness, for our lives.

Please add my husband's name to the wall; he has earned his place there, as have we all. Thank you for your struggle to bring light to our sorrow.

Tommi Johnston

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