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Australian men arrested for cannabis during breath sampling campaign

Jun 22, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Police in Queensland found a small amount of cannabis and plenty of cash

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Two Australian men stopped during a random breath sampling operation conducted by the Queensland Police this past weekend were promptly busted not for alcohol, but for cannabis.

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At about 8:30 a.m. on June 19, the men were stopped for the check, notes a statement from police.

But following their initial interaction with the occupants, officers on the scene decided to search the vehicle. Inside, they located $18,900 in Australian currency, 48 grams of methylamphetamine and one gram of cannabis.

  1. Two bags of cannabis, weighing about eight pounds (3.6 kilograms), were seized from the vehicle.  PHOTO BY OPP

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  2. “Three drivers were charged with having cannabis readily available within 45 minutes of that RIDE check starting,” Const. Joe Ayotte with the Peterborough County OPP said.

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  3. Photos released by the OPP show an estimated eight kilograms of packaged cannabis in an Amazon box, complete with its smiling logo, and what looks like a duffel bag. /

    ‘I smoke a lot, you would be surprised,’ driver reportedly tells officers during traffic stop

What appears to be a bodycam video released by police shows officers retrieving cash and a clear container with a crystal material from what looks to be a duffel bag.

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“For now, possessing or using cannabis remains illegal if there is no medical reason for doing so,” according to Bouchier Khan Lawyers.

The penalties for possessing weed without a prescription — fines that take into account factors such as the amount of cannabis and if the purpose for possessing the drug is commercial — “can range from a small fine to lengthy periods of imprisonment,” the information notes.

A 37-year-old man has been charged with three counts of drug possession, one count of possessing tainted property, one count of possessing anything used in the commission of a crime and one count of possessing property suspected of being acquired for the purpose of committing a drug offence. For his part, a 47-year-old man has been charged with possessing dangerous drugs.

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The first man is set to appear in local court on July 8 and the second on July 4.

Hannay Lawyers reports that the limits on police vehicle searches in Queensland are primarily set out in the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2002. A person can refuse a search, making it the onus of an officer “to decide whether they have the power to search your vehicle with or without a search warrant.”

That said, police can search a vehicle without a warrant for several reasons. These include that the vehicle may contain a weapon or explosive that a person may not lawfully possess and an unlawful dangerous drug, as well as if the vehicle is reasonably suspected of being used unlawfully.

“We are very pleased to have these drugs off the streets,” Sergeant Matthew Dixon, Upper Ross Officer in Charge, says of the recent drug bust.

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Screen capture of officer discovering clear container of drugs inside bag. /
Screen capture of officer discovering clear container of drugs inside bag. / Photo by Queensland Police

During the one-day, road safety initiative, 517 random breath tests were conducted. In all, 12 people were charged with drink-driving and two people were charged with unlicensed driving. “We are very pleased that the vast majority of drivers chose to do the right thing,” Dixon added.

The Australian incident is not the first time impaired driving checks have resulted in the discovery, sometimes very large amounts.

Last month in Ontario, a driver who opted to flee a mandatory Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere stop was subsequently caught and the 2,000 cannabis clones inside his vehicle were discovered. Ending up on a dead-end street, the 36-year-old driver was charged under the Cannabis Act with distributing more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering.

Two months earlier in March, an Ontario Provincial Police RIDE checkpoint near White River, Ont. revealed a distinctively skunky scent. Approaching the stopped vehicle, the officers picked up on the cannabis smell, resulting in both the driver and occupant being charged.

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