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Elements of Possession of a Controlled Substance – Section 4(1) – CDSA

Date, Time and Location

  • Is this a location known for drugs?  Stats on number of arrests/seizures in this area to objectively show reasonableness of belief


Identification of the accused

  • Continuity of suspect. Especially if  visual contact with the accused was broken between observation of the offence and the point of arrest


Grounds for Arrest/ Actions of Accused:

Statement of the Accused

  • Section 4(1) Contains an exception for people who are “authourized under regulations” to possess a controlled substance. If the accused was asked if they have an authourization to possess, their responce MAY be considered admissible in order to address this presumption.


Grounds for Search

Continuity of Exhibit

  • The continuity of the drugs, (or drug related exhibits) are often a key focus of defence arguments from the time the drugs are located till the time they are secured or sent to the lab for analysis.
  • Where/when were the drugs located? (detailed to each pocket or pouch)
    • Were they seized, tagged separately?
  • Where/ when were the drugs placed during arrest, during transport, upon arrival at police office.
  • Was the pocket, bag, envelope, trunk, glove compartment etc. checked for the presence of other drugs and clean?
  • Were the drugs tagged and submitted according to the Drug Analysis Section Protocols on drug seizures
  • Has a Drug Expert been requested to provide evidence regarding the seized exhibits?


Aggravating Factors

Related Links:

Statutory wording for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Drug Analysis Section Protocols for Seized Drugs


Legal Issues