Nova Scotia seeks to change how police can conduct cannabis related searches

| Staff

Nova Scotia has introduced legislation to amend their provincial cannabis laws to clarify when police can make a cannabis-related search. 

The proposed change comes following a provincial court ruling from earlier this year that ruled a police search of a man’s vehicle for cannabis was unreasonable and a violation of the driver’s rights under Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Provincial law currently states that law enforcement officers can conduct a search “at any reasonable time.” The proposed change to the law, Bill 64, seeks to strike out “may, at any reasonable time” in the second line of the provincial cannabis act and replace it with “who has reasonable grounds to believe that this Act or the regulations are being contravened may, at any time”.

“Public health and safety are the primary goals of our cannabis legislation, but it is equally important that the charter rights of Nova Scotians are protected from unreasonable searches,” said Brad Johns, Minister of Justice and Attorney General in a press release. “We believe this amendment strikes that balance.”

The bill will still need to pass through the Nova Scotia legislature before it can come into force.