Sudbury man may sue OPP, officer

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Sudbury man may sue OPP, officer

Postby Thomas » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:58 am

A Greater Sudbury man says he may sue the OPP after a drug possession charge was dropped Wednesday.

Michel Lavoie said outside court that he has a medical marijuana licence and never should have been charged when he was stopped New Year's Eve.

"I think I will probably sue the officer and the OPP for false arrest, negligent investigation," Lavoie, 46, told The Sudbury Star.

Lavoie said he has been stopped before by police and never had a problem.

"This time, (the officer) just decided to keep the resin, which was less than one gram," he said. "(The charges) made it look like a big thing."

Lavoie said he hurt his back while working in the mining field in 1988 and has spondylosis (a painful condition of the spine resulting from the degeneration of the intervertebral discs).

He said he smokes 15-20 joints a day for his pain and consumes some marijuana, as well.

Lavoie and his wife were stopped during a spot check. Lavoie said he has had his medical marijuana licence for about three years and had it with him when he was stopped.

He said he spent 15 minutes in his vehicle on the side of the road. He said officers seized a small amount of cannabis resin or oil, but he did get to keep the dried marijuana he had with him.

In first appearance court Wednesday at the Sudbury Courthouse, federal prosecutor Pierre Bradley withdrew the drug charge.

Outside court, Lavoie said based on a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year, a charge should not have been laid.

Last June, the Supreme Court ruled in the Regina vs. Smith case that people with a medical marijuana licences are allowed to have marijuana oil or resin, besides dried marijuana.

In 2009, Owen Edward Smith was found with dried marijuana, as well as cannabis oil. The Crown had appealed a British Columbia Court of Appeal decision that ruled in Smith's favour.

The Supreme Court ruled the prohibition on possession of non-dried forms of medical marijuana limits liberty and security of the person under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The section protects an individual's autonomy and personal legal rights from actions of the government in Canada.

There are three types of protection under the section: the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Lavoie was stopped at an OPP Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) spot check on Gordon Lake Road about 8:10 p.m. Dec. 31. He was a passenger in the vehicle, which was being driven by his wife.

Officers detected the odour of marijuana from inside the vehicle and they located and seized cannabis resin.

Lavoie was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis resin, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. ... pp-officer ... p-officer/
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