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Woman fined for having 84 grams of marijuana at home

Terrence McEachern
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Yellowknife couple scheduled to stand trial this week on drug trafficking charges instead pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of 84 grams of marijuana for personal use in territorial court on Sept. 16.

"You need to clean up your lifestyle - that's what it comes down to," said Judge Brian Bruser to the 26-year-old woman in the relationship, who agreed to be sentenced on the same day as her guilty plea.

Bruser sentenced her to a $900 fine and nine months of probation. She must also pay a $135 victims of crime surcharge. Her co-accused male common-law partner is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 13.

On Nov. 3, 2010 at 9:20 p.m., acting on a tip from a confidential informant, the Yellowknife RCMP used a search warrant to search an apartment at 5205 49 St. Officers found 84 grams of marijuana with a street value of $1,680 in a locked safe in the couple's bedroom, a digital scale, two grinders used to break up the marijuana, $560 in cash and a nine-millimetre bullet, said Crown

prosecutor Angie Paquin.

Given that the woman had no prior criminal record and entered an early guilty plea, sparing five to six witnesses from testifying at the Sept. 21 trial, Paquin asked for sentence comprising of a $1,000 fine and nine months of probation.

Defence lawyer Serge Petitpas requested a fine of $800 and six months of probation. He explained his client had the medical condition thrombosis - involving blood clots - which prevented her from drinking alcohol. As an alternative, she and her common-law purchased 56 to 85 grams of marijuana a week and smoke about eight grams a day. Petitpas said his client found the bullet on the ground in downtown Yellowknife and kept it "for fun."

The woman declined to speak to the court when given the opportunity.

Bruser granted Paquin's request to have the items removed from the apartment forfeited by the couple, but warned that given the property is jointly owned, her common-law partner could challenge the order at this sentencing.

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