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Charges laid against two Quebec teenagers, including fleeing police, dangerous driving and possessing cannabis under 19

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Charges follow police response to reports of two vehicles driving erratically along Highway 7 in Ontario

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Two teenagers from Quebec are facing multiple charges after being stopped on Highway 7 in the Municipality of Marmora and Lake, the halfway point between Toronto and Ottawa.

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The incident kicked off just after midnight when officers received reports of two vehicles that were travelling together and driving erratically along a stretch of highway, reports Global News.

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After one of the vehicles was involved in a crash, the driver allegedly jumped into the second vehicle and fled the scene. The youths, both age 16, were arrested once officers located the vehicle.

Hailing from LaSalle, Que., the teenagers now face a slew of charges, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer, failure to stop after an accident, driving a vehicle without a licence and possession of property obtained by crime.

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One of the teens was also charged with two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, three counts of failure to comply with a release order and one count of a person under 19 possessing cannabis.

One of the teens has been reprimanded to custody ahead of a court appearance while the second was released and is scheduled to appear in court in February.

While the federal Cannabis Act allows Canadians 18 years of age and over to purchase and use cannabis, Ontario’s Cannabis Control Act prohibits those under 19 from buying, consuming, possessing or growing recreational cannabis, per Legal Line.

The Ontario government notes this is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in the province.

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In Quebec, the age limit is bumped up to 21 years, per the province’s Cannabis Regulation Act. Fines for breaking provincial cannabis laws range from about $200 up to $1 million.

Quebec also prohibits recreational home grows, a decision that is currently before the Supreme Court of Canada. Canadians are legally allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence under the federal Cannabis Act, though provincial governments in both Quebec and Manitoba have banned home cultivation.

Janick Murray-Hall is challenging Quebec’s position, arguing that the provincial law is unconstitutional and contradicts the federal cannabis law. Currently, residents of Quebec who are caught growing cannabis at home could be fined between $250 and $750.

The court ruling could affect cannabis laws in other provinces, and the court will determine whether or not federal law prevails over provincial law.

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