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R v L & K (2001)

  • Clayton Rice, K.C.

The two defendants in this case were charged with production of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The charges arose when the police raided a house in a residential Calgary neighbourhood armed with a search warrant. The police officer that obtained the search warrant relied upon expert opinion evidence from another police officer that the electrical consumption data was consistent with the cycles of a marijuana hydroponic operation (DRA). However, that police officer’s expertise was not disclosed to the judge who granted the search warrant. Mr Rice brought an evidence exclusion motion and the Crown Attorney countered with an application to produce the missing expertise. The trial judge ruled that the police ought to have produced the expertise to the judge who granted the search warrant and to allow the Crown to introduce it on the motion would defeat the prior authorization process under s 8 of the Charter of Rights. The case against Mr Rice’s client collapsed and he was acquitted of all charges.

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