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Mountie in medical pot dispute fit for trial on assault charges, Crown says

The Crown and defence say a New Brunswick Mountie charged with assaulting two police officers has been deemed fit to stand trial.

Cpl. Ron Francis, who attracted national attention for complaining about not being able to smoke medicinal marijuana while in uniform, was released from custody Monday after he underwent a psychiatric assessment.

The Public Safety Department for Fredericton said Francis had to be subdued with a stun gun following his arrest last month.

The psychiatric assessment was not dealt with in provincial court Monday, but the Crown and defence said outside court that Francis has been deemed mentally fit to stand trial.

In court, defence lawyer T.J. Burke asked for time to review disclosure before entering pleas to two counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of resisting arrest.

Burke says his client will plead not guilty and the case has been adjourned until Feb. 4.

In November, Francis returned his red serge on orders from his superiors but accused the RCMP and the federal government of not doing enough to support officers with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The RCMP said its officers who are prescribed medicinal marijuana should not be in red serge or regular uniform while taking their medication as it would not portray the right message to the public.