2,000 cannabis plants found inside vehicle trying to avoid RIDE check

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Ontario man has been charged with distributing more than four cannabis plants

An Ontario driver who opted out of a mandatory RIDE stop by fleeing the scene was quickly caught along with the 2,000 cannabis plants that were inside his vehicle.

Officers with the Norfolk County arm of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were conducting a Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) check at Norfolk St. N. and Davis St. W. in Simcoe, Ont. just after 1:30 a.m. on May 12, according to The Hamilton Spectator.

That was when a driver was witnessed trying to bypass the stop, notes a tweet from the OPP.

The evasion, however, didn’t last for long. CBC News reports the driver attempted to flee down a dead-end road, making easy work for officers who quickly apprehended the driver and found the cannabis plants in the vehicle.

The plants were, in fact, clones. Cloning is the act of removing part of a plant and nurturing it to maturity, like propagating a house plant with a cutting.

Among other prohibitions, the Cannabis Act notes an individual cannot possess, in a public place, one or more cannabis plants that are budding or flowering or possess more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering. The same ban applies to flowering or unflowering plants with regard to distribution.

For someone 18 or older, the maximum punishment for possessing more than the permitted number of plants is prison for not more than five years, less a day. For distributing those plants, the top penalty is 14 years in prison.

The 36-year-old driver from Markham, Ont. has since been charged under the Cannabis Act with distributing more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering. The accused is scheduled to appear in court at a later date, the OPP tweet reads.

RIDE stops are no stranger to illicit weed finds.

Just this past March, an OPP RIDE checkpoint near White River, Ont. revealed a distinctively skunky scent. Approaching the stopped vehicle, the officers detected a cannabis smell. The driver and occupant were charged with several offences.

The telltale smell of weed also turned a routine RIDE check in Kearney, Ont. into a vehicle search in April 2021. That search revealed 525 cannabis plants, an OPP tweet at the time showed.

And an OPP RIDE check in Kitchener, Ont. during December 2020 ended with two people being charged with possessing cannabis for the purpose of sale and distribution after they were found with about $80,000 worth of weed, cannabis gummies, shatter and drug trafficking equipment.

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