Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jan 2015
Source: Observer, The (CN ON)
Page: A4
Copyright: 2015, Sarnia Observer
Author: Neil Bowen


New Approach To Drug Crimes Starts

A 20-year-old college student charged with possession of cocaine and
marijuana could earn a discharge if he follows a drug- abuse treatment

The man, a first-time offender, was caught in March 2014 with 4.5
grams of cocaine and 6.8 grams of marijuana.

He appeared in Sarnia court as part of the new court

A very positive pre-sentence report indicated the man was a good
candidate for treatment, said federal prosecutor Michael Robb during a
prior court appearance.

On Wednesday, a contract was presented in court that was prepared with
the consent of everyone involved. Those people included the man's
doctor who will be involved in testing the 20-year-old for the
presence of drugs in his system and a drug-abuse counsellor.

The man will make monthly court appearances until June to monitor his
treatment progress.

It is a new approach and an opportunity for those who really
demonstrate a commitment to change, said Justice Deborah Austin previously.

The man's case will be carefully watched and his adherence to the
program can earn him leniency in sentencing, but the initiative won't
be widely available, said Austin previously.

The leniency could include a discharge that would leave the man
without a criminal record.

The court will be looking to the man to fulfill his obligations and
Wednesday's beginning was a good start to the new year, said Austin. 
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