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Kamloops News

The smell of pot is enough evidence for arrest

KAMLOOPS – A provincial court judge decided police did not need to request a marijuana permit before arresting a man hiding 73 marijuana plants in the back of his van.

Corey Joseph Eld, born 1977, and his lawyer John Conroy argued Eld’s arrest was illegal because police arrested him without asking him if he held a medical marijuana license.

Provincial Court Judge Chris Cleaveley rejected Conroy’s argument after learning the two arresting officers had a lengthy history of dealing with criminal activity relating to marijuana.

“I do not believe that the police officers need to determine whether Mr. Eld had a marijuana licence before arresting him,” Cleaveley said in his ruling.

In 2012, Police arrested Eld after smelling marijuana coming from his van at a routine road check in Barriere. When Mounties approached the vehicle, they noticed the smell was consistent with vegetative (not burned) marijuana, which led both officers to suspect Eld was transporting marijuana plants.

To further suspicion, Eld had a long tarp running from the behind the front seats to the rear of the vehicle.

On those two pieces of information alone, police arrested both Eld and a male passenger for possession of the drug. Once the two were in custody, officers searched the van and uncovered 73 marijuana plants.

Eld will appear in court for sentencing on June 23.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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