Two youths charged un­der new cannabis laws

St. An­thony teens tick­eted for un­sealed pos­ses­sion in a ve­hi­cle

Northern Pen - - Front Page - BY THOM BARKER SPE­CIAL TO THE NORTH­ERN PEN

Two St. An­thony youths found out the hard way that even though mar­i­juana is now le­gal in Canada, there are still con­se­quences as­so­ci­ated with pos­sess­ing it un­der some cir­cum­stances.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, on Oct. 27, mem­bers of the St. An­thony RCMP de­tach­ment ini­ti­ated a traf­fic stop due to sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity around a parked ve­hi­cle. In the re­sult­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, po­lice dis­cov­ered trace amounts of co­caine and an undis­closed quan­tity of mar­i­juana in the pas­sen­ger area of the ve­hi­cle. They charged two 17-year-olds with pos­sess­ing un­sealed cannabis and pos­ses­sion of cannabis un­der 19 years of age.

The teens can­not be named be­cause they are un­der 18.

Const. Mark Grundy told The North­ern Pen it was the first time he and his part­ner, Const. Shane MacIver, had charged some­one un­der the new Cannabis Con­trol Act. He said the youths were is­sued tick­ets and re­leased.

Un­der the new laws, cannabis must be in its orig­i­nal sealed pack­age if it is in the pas­sen­ger com­part­ment of a ve­hi­cle, much like open con­tainer laws for al­co­hol. Oth­er­wise, it must be in the trunk.

In this case, the cannabis was not from a le­gal source, he said, and, in any event, the pos­ses­sors were un­der­age.

The stan­dard fine for un­der­age pos­ses­sion is $100.

Un­sealed pos­ses­sion in a ve­hi­cle car­ries a penalty of $300 to $10,000, or two to seven days in prison if the fine goes un­paid.

Grundy said it is hard to say how the Act will be ap­plied by judges, but fig­ured il­licit prod­uct will al­most cer­tainly be con­sid­ered an ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stance in as­sess­ing fine amounts.

“The RCMP re­minds the pub­lic that cannabis is not al­lowed to be read­ily avail­able in the pas­sen­ger area of a ve­hi­cle,” he said. “And ob­vi­ously, you can’t con­sume it in a ve­hi­cle.”

There is also a sep­a­rate charge avail­able to po­lice for any­one pos­sess­ing il­le­gal­ly­ob­tained mar­i­juana, but the two youths were not charged with that.

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