DEER LAKE Don’t hang out in an empty public parking lot if your car smells like weed.
That’s the lesson a New Brunswick man learned when he was arrested by the Joint Forces Street Level Drug team in Deer Lake. Police say they became suspicious when they noticed a lone car in grocery store parking lot after business hours. When they approached, they say they smelled marijuana, and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a quantity of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and what police say are most likely prescription pills.
This isn’t the man’s first tangle with local law enforcement. In April of this year he was arrested and charged with separate, unrelated drug and weapons offences. Coincidentally, he was actually back in the province to face those April charges.
Police say they did not know the man’s past when they approached his car and only found out after they punched his name into the system.
There is no indication as of yet whether the man was high.
Sgt. Cal Barter of the Deer Lake RCMP said under the Highway Traffic Act, police can search a person’s vehicle based on whatever they see or smell.
“The smell (of marijuana) means we can search and you will be detained and arrested, it’s based on the strength of the smell or other indicators,” he said. “It’s one of those things where the officer can use his discretion.”
The man was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in Provincial court in Corner Brook at a later date.