R. v. E.K. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary, March 2019]

E.K. was charged with possession of fentanyl. E.K. was an addict who had been using fentanyl for years and was eventually arrested when a cab driver called the police because she was passed out in the back seat of his taxi. When the police arrived they located the fentanyl on her person. In light of the well-publicized dangers of fentanyl, the Crown Prosecutor’s office had been asking courts to impose jail terms on those convicted of simple possession, even where the person was an addict. There were no reported (written and published) decisions in the Province of Alberta where Defence counsel had successfully argued for a discharge for their client (i.e. the withdrawal of all charges on the completion of certain conditions, typically one of which is drug treatment). Ms. Fagan was able to obtain this result for her client.

BOTTOM LINE: The charge against E.K. was withdrawn upon the completion of conditions pursuant to a conditional discharge.