Police find cannabis and weapons during N.S. traffic stop

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36-year-old man faces almost a dozen charges

A Nova Scotia man faces cannabis and prohibited weapons charges after the two were discovered in both his car and home late last month.

At about 2 p.m. on Apr. 23, a Nissan Altima car driven by the 36-year-old man was stopped as part of a vehicle enforcement checkpoint, notes a statement issued this week by Eskasoni RCMP.

Upon approaching the vehicle, officers “detected a strong odour of cannabis” and could plainly see that drugs inside the car were within reach of the driver.

The Nova Scotia government makes clear that “cannabis in any form cannot be used by passengers or drivers” and that use in a vehicle could result in a fine of $2,000. An impaired driving conviction, for a first offence, is punishable by a fine of at least $1,000 and a one-year licence suspension, the information notes.

As for transporting cannabis in a vehicle, it must “be in a closed, sealed package and out of reach from anyone in the vehicle.”

After officers smelled and spotted the accessible weed, the car was searched. Officers then found about 3.4 kilograms of cannabis.

The driver was arrested at the scene and taken to the Eskasoni RCMP detachment. His vehicle was later towed after being seized.

Continuing to investigate, officers obtained a search warrant for the man’s residence. Upon searching the home, they found prohibited weapons, including conducted energy weapons (CEWS) and CEW cartridges, as well as “various quantities of dried cannabis and derivatives of cannabis.”

The man has been charged with prohibited to possess cannabis for the purpose of selling, two counts of careless use of a firearm, two counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, three counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, restricted weapon or prohibited device and three counts of occupying a motor vehicle containing a firearm, prohibited weapon or restricted weapon.

The driver was released on conditions and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on May 24.

The N.S. incident is not the first time vehicle checkpoints have revealed cannabis.

This past March, members of the Ontario Provincial Police were carrying out a Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) checkpoint when they detected a cannabis smell emanating from a vehicle that entered the check.

Several months earlier, in November 2021, another RIDE check saw a driver fessing up to having had a little too much holiday cheer. Amid the 2021 Festive Ride Campaign, the unidentified driver was stopped in Mississauga, Ont, and his vehicle was searched.

The check revealed cannabis and, ultimately, charges of possession for the purpose of distribution, possession of illicit cannabis, possession of cannabis over 30 grams, possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000 and having cannabis readily available.

Clearly, having cannabis in plain view is not the smartest of moves. A Texas driver found this out in December 2001 when he provided an easy arrest for a trooper who, approaching a suspicious vehicle, could see the man had illegal cannabis all over the inside of the car, including in his lap.

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