Even though Marijuana is legal and is in fact less controlled than the sale of other leading intoxicants such as beer, wine, and liquor, the Ontario Government still wants to fight the war on drugs despite allowing pot shops on every corner. Given that the Province of Ontario has become one of the largest drug dealers in the world, there is no doubt that they want to eliminate the competition, be it legitimate homegrown or illegal street-bought (old school) weed. To do so, the government has implemented some questionable laws that far outreach any legitimate safety concern and are frankly, unconstitutional.
A perfect example of this is section 12 of the Cannabis Control Act of Ontario. This law allows the police to search any vehicle or boat at any time without a warrant if it is reasonably believed that cannabis is being illegally stored in the vehicle or boat. Illegal storage would include any pot that is not in its original (read “government-controlled”) packaging or otherwise fastened closed and not readily available to any person in the vehicle or boat. If the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the weed in the vehicle or boat does not comply with the exceptions of section 12, then not only can they search the vehicle or boat, they can search any person found within it. This is crazy and way beyond the scope of public safety. It gives the officer carte blanche to identify and search people completely unrelated to the operation of the vehicle, simply because they are in the vehicle. It allows officers to do something that they would otherwise not be allowed to do. The police can’t search your vehicle if you simply run a stop sign. The police can’t ask the passengers in the vehicle for ID without reasonable grounds that an offence is being committed simply because the driver failed to signal for a left-hand turn. The Charter protects against such arbitrary searches or detentions. There is no reason that pot should be treated differently. An open case of beer on the rear seat with no evidence of consumption in the vehicle does not give police the right to search the vehicle and everyone in it. There is no reason why the police should be allowed to breach Charter standards simply because it is suspected there is improperly stored marijuana inside the vehicle.
There is no doubt that all citizens have the right to be protected on our streets. Impaired driving in all its forms is something that we all have a vested interest in reducing. There must be a line between the need to keep society safe from others while on the streets, and the need to keep society safe from the over intrusion of the state while on those same streets. The rules surrounding cannabis ought to be no different than the rules surrounding alcohol and, in this case, the government has gone too far and put all of our civil liberties in jeopardy. If you or anyone you know has been subject to marijuana charges, call the team at Cake Criminal Defence today. We have the knowledge and the abilities to fight for your rights. CCD Law is here to help. We defend.