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Toronto father and son arrested for sale of synthetic marijuana

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Hamilton Police searched two Toronto properties in Yorkville related to the sale of synthetic marijuana. Police reportedly found approximately 200 grams of marijuana and 45 grams of cannabis resin, and they arrested a 53-year-old man from Toronto and his 28-year-old son. The father owns a company that manufactures the synthetic drug while his son is CEO of the business.

The father was charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking as well as possession of cannabis resin for the purpose of trafficking; the son was charged with trafficking a controlled substance. Both father and son, however, argue that the synthetic drug is legal and is not one of the drugs listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Health Canada and police assert that the synthetic drug is illegal because it mirrors the effects of drugs that are part of the Act.

The drug is known as “K2” or “spice,” and the company, Izms, allegedly manufactured it under names such as “Luau Love” and “Grape Drank.” It is comprised of various herbs that are coated with synthetic cannabinoids to theoretically provide the same effects as marijuana. The main ingredient in the synthetic drug is not banned, so “spice” and other synthetic drugs have been sold in convenience stores and other outfits for several months.

Health Canada is allegedly intending to cut down on the use of this synthetic drug and warned the public that any product that contains ingredients that are similar to marijuana is considered illegal and part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It is to be noted, however, that Health Canada issued the warning, not a branch of law enforcement.

Individuals who are arrested for possession of synthetic drugs may retain the services of a Toronto criminal defence lawyer. Because the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act has not been amended, a lawyer may be able to argue that possession of a drug of this nature is not in itself illegal.

Source: CTV News, “Two Toronto men charged over sale of synthetic marijuana,” 8 March 2013

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