Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Sun
Pot smokers in Gatineau are more likely to be charged for possession of marijuana than in virtually any other major city in the country.
Only Sherbrooke, Que., had a slightly higher rate of pot possession charges last year, according to data collected by Postmedia as part of a project examining Canada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana.
The federal government has promised to introduce legislation in the spring. In the meantime, pot laws remain in force, although how they are applied varies dramatically across the country.
In Gatineau, the rate of marijuana possession charges was 153.42 for every 100,000 people in 2015. Gatineau was in second place after Sherbrooke, which had a rate of 153.71. Saskatoon and Kelowna came in third and fourth place, respectively, in the comparison of 33 major Canadian cities.
Once the search is widened to include smaller towns and cities in Canada, however, Gatineau doesn’t even make the top 20. The highest rate last year among the 1,132 municipalities analyzed by Postmedia was Waskesiu, in northern Saskatchewan lake country at Prince Albert National Park. The area had a whopping possession charge rate of 1,903.81. That sounds high, but since the population is tiny, it only represents charges against 19 people, a member of the town council told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.