Driver charged under new Cannabis Act

A 53-year-old Markham man faces charges under Canada’s new Cannabis Act, after police came across smoke emanating from his vehicle’s engine.

York Regional Police officers also smelled freshly-burnt marijuana during a patrol of the Brimley Road and Beckenridge Drive area on Oct. 21. The driver initially attempted to drive away as officers approached but upon being stopped, said he was having engine trouble, which was causing the smoke.

When he opened the hood of the car, officers discovered a large quantity of a green leafy substance in a burnt pillow case on the engine block. The suspect didn’t have a licence to produce cannabis and was placed under arrest. Police searched the vehicle and seized several items, including scales, vacuum sealers, welding masks, 36 butane canisters, fungicide, more than 1.5 kilograms of dried cannabis and 32 grams of cannabis resin.

Diep Tat was charged with possession for the purpose of distribution and possession and other activities related to the production or distribution of illicit cannabis. He’s scheduled to appear before court at Newmarket on Nov. 29.

Although cannabis is now legal, police are committed to enforcing the existing laws around impaired driving, illegal distribution, cultivation and possession.

“Our officers will continue to ensure our community is safe and secure as we transition to this new environment,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe. “Working closely with our federal, provincial, regional and municipal partners, we have identified our enforcement responsibilities and want to be sure our residents are aware of them as well.”

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