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Sunday, 23 February 2020
Q: Now that marijuana is decriminalized, is the smell of marijuana coming from my vehicle, reasonable cause to search my vehicle without a warrant?
A: This is a very interesting question because whilst it is legal to have in one’s possession no more than 30 grams of cannabis, the following is also true according to the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment)Act 2019, which will eventually be incorporated into the Dangerous Drugs Act:
5C. A person who-
(a) whilst under the influence of cannabis, does anything which constitutes negligence, professional malpractice, or professional misconduct;
(b) has cannabis or cannabis resin in his possession-
(i) on a school bus; or
(ii) in or on any premises where children are present for the purposes of education or attending or participating in any sporting or cultural activity; or
(c) operates, navigates, or is in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or ship whilst under the influence of cannabis, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years.
However, in some very interesting cases being handed down in the United States regarding “Sniff & Search”, the courts have held that “Police still can use the smell of marijuana as justification to search a vehicle... But they can’t search anyone in the vehicle unless they find evidence of a crime, not even if police find a small amount of marijuana.”
Be that as it may in America, let’s see how these issues surrounding new marijuana laws unfold in Trinidad and Tobago.
Monday, 10 February 2020
I cannot stand people who litter… what are the laws on littering in Trinidad & Tobago?
I am just as disgusted by people who litter, from as small as cigarette butts and straws!
Litter laws in Trinidad & Tobago are governed mainly by the following sections of the Litter Act 1973, as amended:
3(1)(b) – littering in a public place without reasonable excuse
3(2) – the unavailability of a bin is NOT a reasonable excuse
3(3) – if trash is thrown from a vehicle (except bus or taxi), and it is not possible to determine who littered, the driver will be ultimately responsible
3(5) – For individuals, the penalty for littering is a fine of $4000 or 6-months imprisonment; and for incorporated bodies, the penalty is a fine of $8000
3A(1) – Transporting any material that is likely to blow off of a vehicle or trailer without it being properly secures or covered is an offence
3A(2) - For individuals, the penalty for littering is a fine of $4000 or 6-months imprisonment; and for incorporated bodies, the penalty is a fine of $8000
4 – Littering on someone else’s property is an offence, for which the penalty is a fine of $4000 or 6-months imprisonment
5A – The penalty for repeat offenders is double the fine
6 – The Local authority has the power to instruct an owner or occupier of property to dispose of litter on said premises if it results in defacement or is dangerous to health or life