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B.C. driver fined $230 for having a packed cannabis pipe in his centre console

A roadblock on the Lions Gate Bridge quickly turned expensive for one driver in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The 23-year-old Calgary man came through the stop shortly after 2 a.m. and was checked out by a West Vancouver Police Department officer.

Spokesperson for the WVPD, Cst. Jeff Palmer, said the driver showed no signs of impairment, but he was guilty of one cannabis related offense.

<who>Photo Credit: West Vancouver Police Department

“The officer subsequently sees a pipe sitting in the centre console that is packed with what the officer suspects is cannabis,” explained Palmer.

Palmer said the pipe wasn’t lit, but similar to alcohol, transporting the recreational drug in your car is subject to a number of conditions under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

“Drivers or adults, while they’re legal and can lawfully possess cannabis, they are not permitted under (the Act) to possess cannabis in a vehicle, whether or not the vehicle’s in motion, subject to some conditions,” he said.

According to Palmer, cannabis in a vehicle needs to not be readily accessible to the driver or passengers and has to be in an unopened package from a federal producer as well.

“The officer believed it did not meet any of the criteria under (the Act) to be lawfully possessed in a motor vehicle, so the driver was served with a $230 provincial violation ticket,” said Palmer.

Since the driver showed no signs of impairment and the ticket was for the possession violation, not a criminal offense like impaired driving, so he was allowed to drive away from the scene.

Palmer says that cases like this make a good reminder for the general public that while cannabis is now legal, it’s subject to many of the same public safety controls as liquor.

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