519-435-9220 jpitblado@pitblado.ca

Criminal law- drugs and preliminary inquiries

I have had a chance to review the new restriction buried in the CDSA about having the Health Canada analyst attend at the preliminary inquiry to testify about his/her sampling methods. I was shocked that there was no case law about when a judge at a pre-hearing should order such an attendance, as compared to just using the one page written report of the analyst to prove the subject drug.

This is a big deal in the new fentanyl climate. If other drugs are being interspersed with fentanyl, then surely the justice system players should know what percentage one drug is compared to another.

Or, if a sample is listed simply as “fentanyl” by an analyst, then surely he or she should be questioned about testing methods- i.e. how many samples were taken and from which ends of the container containing the stored drugs?

I hope to be part of the creation of some guiding case law on this for the benefit of the justice system this year- stay tuned.


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