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Man fined for possessing 122 grams of marijuana

Terrence McEachern
Northern News Services
Published Friday, September 23, 2011

A 22-year-old Yellowknife man driving a Cadillac with 122 grams of marijuana in the back seat was fined $1,000 in territorial court on Sept. 20.

The man was originally charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on March 8, 2011. Judge Brian Bruser also sentenced the man to nine months of probation in which he is to take drug counselling if asked to do so by a probation officer. As well, the offender was fined an additional $300 for failing to show up for his original sentencing date on March 30, 2011.

The drug charge stems from Nov. 3, 2010, when the Yellowknife RCMP responded to a call of an alleged assault at Bison Estates at 3:50 p.m. The RCMP pulled over the suspect driving a black Cadillac Escalade, said Crown prosecutor Blair MacPherson. When the accused rolled down the driver's side window, the officers detected a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The man was arrested after a search of the vehicle revealed a Tupperware container in the back seat containing 122 grams of marijuana.

MacPherson noted the man was polite and co-operative with police. He told the officers the drugs were for personal use and that he was eventually planning on transporting the marijuana to his former residence in Lutsel K'e.

MacPherson submitted the man's criminal record, which showed a past conditional sentence for assault.

Noting the large quantity of marijuana, which was "more than a mere joint or two," MacPherson asked Judge Brian Bruser to impose a $1,000 fine and six to nine months of probation.

For the charge of failing to appear in court on March 30, 2011, MacPherson asked for an additional fine of $300.

Defence lawyer Serge Petitpas told the court his client was in the city the day he missed his court date; he was on a rotation while he was working at a mining camp. Petitpas admitted his client was a heavy user of marijuana, but has decreased his marijuana use significantly since the day he was arrested. Upon hearing this, Bruser inferred from Petitpas' submissions that his client is still using marijuana, and warned that he is breaking the law by doing so.

Petitpas requested a fine in the range of $900 to $1,000 for drug possession and $250 for failing to appear in court for his client, who is now unemployed. He agreed with the six to nine month probation order, indicating his client was willing to undergo drug counselling if ordered to do so by the court.

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