The Crown has dropped drug trafficking charges against a man who was arrested after Stratford police said they found six pounds of weed in a vehicle during a roadside sobriety check point.
Dinh Nguyen had documentation from Health Canada allowing him to transport up to 10,500 grams of medical marijuana, but it had expired when he was stopped near Stratford this past December with 2,800 grams in a vehicle. But before it expired, he had applied for similar documentation that was received in January.
“So from (a) Health Canada perspective, it was really a lapsed certificate case,” federal Crown attorney Denis Harrison wrote in an email.
But it took six months – nearly to the day – and multiple court appearances in Stratford to sort it out.
One of the holdups involved defence lawyer Amy Robern tracking down and contacting the Toronto-based prescribing doctor. At one point, Nguyen did not show up to court despite a Vietnamese interpreter being arranged for the 47-year-old Burlington resident, irking Ontario Court Justice Kathryn McKerlie.
As for the accused having permission to transport such a significant amount of the drug, Harrison wrote, “It is not my place to question the certificate system in a criminal trial.”
Stratford police said they found the sizeable amount of weed while stopping approximately 700 vehicles at checkpoints around Stratford, St. Marys and Perth South on Dec. 11. The drugs were seized and two male occupants from Burlington were arrested, police said at the time.