R. v. B.C. [Provincial Court, Strathmore, September 2015]

B.C. was pulled over by the police on the Trans-Canada Highway for allegedly talking on a cell phone. The police detected the smell of marijuana and ultimately searched the vehicle discovering close to 10 lbs of marijuana, multiple cell phones and packaging materials. Both B.C. and the passenger of the vehicle were charged with possession of marijuana in an amount exceeding 3 kilograms. Ms. Fagan filed a Charter notice alleging a breach of her client’s right not to be arbitrarily detained, his right not to be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure. A unique and unforeseen evidentiary issue arose in the course of trial and Ms. Fagan seized on the opportunity, arguing that the Crown could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the leafy green substance seized was in fact marijuana. After three days of trial Ms. Fagan was successful in securing a verdict of “not guilty” for her client.