Article by Solomon Israel, Leaf News
Three criminal defence lawyers who focus on cannabis cases say they’re dismayed at the 10-month jail sentence recently imposed by a Manitoba judge on a man caught with 86.3 grams of marijuana.
Rodney Clayton Felix, 31, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution — a new offence under the federal Cannabis Act that took effect last October.
“Ten months is a very long time for a non-violent drug offence, especially given that the particular drug has just been legalized,” said Caryma Sa’d, who practices law in Toronto.
Sa’d is worried the sentence from provincial court Judge Dale Schille “sets the bar very high” for future convictions.
“Past judgments affect future decisions… If this sentence isn’t appealed, it’s going to be a reference point for future cases,” she said Wednesday.
Toronto cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd isn’t convinced the case is the first criminal conviction and sentence under the new marijuana law, as asserted by a recent article in a Canadian cannabis law blog.
“But what I can tell you is that 86 grams of cannabis resulting in a prison sentence of that duration is shocking,” he said.
Under the federal rules that came in effect Oct. 17, 2018, set a personal public possession limit of 30 grams.