Pubdate: Wed, 22 Aug 2001
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2001 The StarPhoenix
Author: By Kevin O'Connor, Saskatchewan News Network
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


REGINA - A Regina judge gave Maritime fiddling sensation Ashley MacIsaac a 
break Tuesday on a marijuana possession charge - but not before asking 
MacIsaac's lawyer for an autograph from the eccentric musician.

Provincial court Judge Linton Smith quickly added that he was joking.

The Juno-award-winning fiddler was charged July 27 after being stopped by 
the highway traffic patrol while on his way to a concert in Saskatoon.

Prosecutor Paul Malone, representing the federal Crown, said RCMP pulled 
over a speeding car on Highway 11 near Aylesbury. When the driver rolled 
down the window, there was "a strong smell of cannabis," Malone said.

Inside the car, police found a bag with eight grams of marijuana. After a 
search, a hash pipe and another four grams of marijuana were located.

MacIsaac admitted the drugs were his and was charged with possession of 
marijuana under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Although MacIsaac, 
26, wasn't present for Tuesday's proceedings, the mention of his name sent 
a ripple of excitement through the courtroom.

"Is that the Ashley MacIsaac?" asked Smith.

"The same," replied MacIsaac's lawyer, Jayme Day.

The Crown prosecuted the case as a less-serious summary offence, which 
carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 and a year in jail. However, after 
accepting the guilty plea Smith gave MacIsaac no fine and an absolute 

With a discharge, MacIsaac won't have a criminal record and will be able to 
cross the U.S. border.

"He was extremely polite and co-operative with the police officers," Day 
said in court Tuesday. She entered a guilty plea on MacIsaac's behalf.

MacIsaac, who is touring Canada this summer, wasn't available for comment 
although Day said he's pleased the case is concluded.

The Saskatchewan bust is the latest in a series of controversies for a 
performer who has both delighted and scandalized audiences in  recent 
years. In past media interviews, the outspoken MacIsaac has made regular 
references to his use of such drugs as crack cocaine, LSD and marijuana.

MacIsaac performed at Regina nightclub July 26 and at a university pub in 
Saskatoon the following evening.

Aylesbury is about 155 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon.
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