It is not easy for the police to prove that the cannabis discovered comes from the SQDC or a pusher
There is confusion over the application of certain aspects of the cannabis law six days after the product was legalized, even though the police started to issue reports of illegal possession.
Possession of marijuana not coming from official distributors in Canada, such as the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC), has been illegal since October 17.
However, determining that the pot of a joint is legal or not is a feat.
“The police certainly can not taste it,” jokes the criminalist Alexandra Longueville of Raby, Dubé, Le Borgne in Montreal.
In Quebec, on the night of Sunday to Monday, the police arrested a man for possession of cannabis bought on the black market, after his arrest for driving with impaired abilities.
“The police officer who will arrest a person in possession of illegal cannabis shall, by facts, by his observations and the information he has collected, establish that he has reasonable grounds to believe that it is illegal cannabis” said Étienne Doyon, spokesperson for the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ), without explaining the exact circumstances of the event.
For example, a person who confessed that the substance in question was not purchased at the SQDC would give the police reasonable grounds to believe that the substance is illegal.
“SQDC products wear a stamp. A bit like tobacco. This proves that the excise tax has been paid, “explains Lieutenant Hugo Fournier of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
Several police forces consulted by Le Journal did not wish to answer how they can determine whether cannabis is legal or not. “It’s still too early,” they said in many places.
“It’s almost impossible to know the source unless there’s the bill. And yet, “said an agent of a South Shore police service on condition of anonymity.
“If we saw the person doing a transaction in the street, with money, it is certainly easier,” said a police officer from the north of the crown.
M e Longueville believes that agents have better things to do than hunt down illegal pot consumers anyway and they will continue to target traffickers.
“Charges of possession of less than 30 g of cannabis, we already did not see much,” she adds. But right now, it’s still difficult to give legal advice [because of the vagueness]. “
Can I get arrested because I have potty elsewhere in Canada?
No. Unlike alcohol, it is possible to transport cannabis legally purchased between the provinces, always respecting the maximum quantities, says Noémie Vanheuverzwijn of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. However, it is prohibited to import marijuana from another country.
Should the pot be in a sealed container if it is in the cockpit of a car?
We do not know … The Société de l ‘assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) refers us to the police forces, which themselves could not answer the question. However, it is forbidden to drink pot while driving, just as driving under the influence of drugs is forbidden.
DIFFICULT TO PROVE, SAYS A LAWYER
QUÉBEC | The Journal spoke with M e Walid Hijazi, criminal lawyer about the rules surrounding the illegal cannabis possession.
Do you expect an increase in arrests for possession of illegal cannabis?
This is the first time I have learned that someone has been arrested for possession of illegal cannabis. I imagine it’s going to happen, it’s under the federal law, that it’s criminal to have cannabis that does not come from a legal source of supply, such as SQDC in Quebec.
How can the authorities prove that cannabis was legally obtained in addition to packaging?
It’s their burden, it’s up to the police to prove that the cannabis was illegally obtained, other than in a government store. There is no obligation for a citizen who has been legally supplied to keep his cannabis at all times inside a container of government stores. Even the container, as such, is not an indication of where cannabis comes from.
Will it be difficult for the police to prove that cannabis was illegally purchased?
It is certain that it will be something extremely difficult to prove, unless you surprise the person in the act of buying illegal cannabis, for example, see someone buying pot to his pusher in his car.