In what circumstances will a police officer stop a car at a stop and search the vehicle of an alleged cannabis dealer?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from R. v. Burlingham, 1993 CanLII 6884 (BC CA):

In R v. Mellenthin (1992), 1992 CanLII 50 (SCC), 76 C.C.C. (3d) 481, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615, 16 C.R. (4th) 273, the police directed appellant's vehicle into a check stop. One of the officers shone a flashlight in the interior of the appellant's vehicle, which revealed an open gym bag on the front seat. The officer asked what was inside the bag. The accused replied that it was food, and showed the officer a paper bag with a plastic sandwich bag in it. When the officer noticed empty glass vials, of the type commonly used to store cannabis resin, he asked the appellant to get out of the car, searched the car and found vials of hash oil and some cannabis resin cigarettes. The appellant later gave an incriminating statement to the police.

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