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CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES - Possession for the purpose of trafficking

Monday, June 03, 2019 @ 10:58 AM  

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Appeal by the Crown from the respondent’s acquittal of possession for the purposes of trafficking and conviction of simple possession. The respondent was charged with possession of methamphetamine and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Police arrested the respondent after he parked a borrowed vehicle outside a residence. Police found 3.92 g of methamphetamine in his pocket and a pipe and a small container containing 26.3 g of cocaine in the console of the vehicle. They also found $7,760 in Canadian currency, another pipe, small amounts of marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine, six cell phones, scales, baggies, three guns and ammunition elsewhere in the vehicle. A police officer qualified as an expert in relation to drugs and drug culture testified that the drugs were possessed for the purpose of trafficking and the cash was the proceeds of crime. The respondent denied ownership of any of the items located in the vehicle except the methamphetamine in his pocket and the cocaine, cash and pipe found in the centre console. He admitted to a serious drug addiction and said he intended to cook the cocaine into crack cocaine, smoke the crack and snort the methamphetamine. He also testified that he intended to share these drugs with the occupants in the house.  The trial judge concluded that his intention to share his drugs did not make out the offence of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The trial judge erred in concluding that the respondent’s intention to share his drugs did not make out the offence. The trial judge followed the path suggested by the submission by defence counsel that nothing really was agreed upon and that giving drugs was just one possibility. That submission reflected an erroneous view of the law. There was no need for an agreement.

R. v. Kernaz, [2019] S.J. No. 153, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, N.W. Caldwell, L.M. Schwann and B. Barrington-Foote JJ.A., April 25, 2019. Digest No. TLD-June32019003