In R. v. Marchese, 2015 ONCJ 126, the accused was caught with four Fentanyl patches.  He was an opiate addict, due to getting hurt at his job as an airplane mechanic.  As a result of a surgery he was prescribed Oxycocet and became addicted.

Mr. Marchese entered a guilty plea to simple possession of Fentanyl, as opposed to possession for the purpose of trafficking. The Crown asked the judge to impose a short jail sentence, because Fentanyl is a highly addictive and dangerous substance, and is prone to abuse in the community.

The judge imposed a conditional discharge and made this enlightened statement:

In my humble opinion the war on drugs should not be waged against addicts such as Mr. Marchese, who is making significant, real and ongoing efforts to properly address his addiction.  His addiction appears to have been brought on by surgery as opposed to lifestyle.  There are no indicia of trafficking in this case, which would otherwise be an aggravating factor.  Although there was evidence of bad driving by Mr. Marchese, I cannot find that to be an aggravating factor in the absence of police confirmation that such driving was a function of drug or alcohol consumption.  I find that rehabilitation is the principle concern in this sentencing.  Mr. Marchese took the time to train for a specialized job which is of significant value to the Canadian economy.  He has taken responsibility for his possession of four Fentanyl patches as well as his addiction.  His documented work in dealing with his addiction significantly reduces the risk to the public going forward.  His is a public health issue primarily, and much less a matter of criminal interdiction.  For those reasons I find that it is in Mr. Marchese’s interest, and not contrary to the public interest that he be granted a discharge under s. s. 730 of the Criminal Code.  His discharge will be conditional on completing 12 months of probation.

Ottawa Drug Lawyer

Charged with possession of drugs or trafficking in Ottawa? Contact Ottawa criminal lawyer Brett McGarry to discuss the best defence for your case at (613) 884-8576.