NEWS

Supreme Court to hear Saskatchewan pot case

05/10/2012 11:17 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

A Saskatchewan man who says his rights were violated when police searched his car and found 14 kilograms of marijuana will have his case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The case goes back to 2006, when Benjamin Cain MacKenzie was speeding on the Trans-Canada Highway near Caronport, Sask., saw an RCMP car, and pulled over.

In court, the officer testified that MacKenzie appeared nervous and breathing heavily. An artery on his neck was pulsing, and he had red eyes — which can be a side effect of smoking marijuana, court heard.

The officer called in a sniffer dog, which quickly found the marijuana. MacKenzie was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The original trial judge ruled the pot could not be used as evidence, saying police did not have "reasonable suspicion" to search the vehicle. There was also a suggestion the officer might have "enhanced" his list of suspicious behaviours after the fact.

However, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal disagreed and ordered a new trial. That set the stage for MacKenzie to ask the Supreme Court to look at the case.

This morning, the high court agreed to do so. A date for Mackenzie's appeal hasn't been set yet.

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