Saskatchewan Roughrider caught with pot cookies at Winnipeg airport gets absolute discharge
Duron Carter, 27, was arrested after marijuana-laced cookies were found in his luggage on Nov. 25, 2017
Saskatchewan Roughrider Duron Carter won't have a conviction on his record even though he pleaded guilty to drug possession after getting caught with marijuana-laced chocolate chip cookies at the Winnipeg airport.
A Manitoba judge granted the CFL receiver-defensive an absolute discharge on Monday after both defence and Crown lawyers recommended it.
Defence lawyer Saheel Zaman said Carter, 27, has "had to suffer the public humiliation" of having these charges hanging over his head, and pointed out that in most other cases these charges would not warrant public attention.
"This is the type of incident that will soon become legal once all the legislation goes through," Zaman said.
The Canadian Senate passed two major pieces of legislation relating to the federal Liberal government's plan to legalize the sale of marijuana, but pot won't be legal to possess until Oct. 17.
Carter is still facing separate possession charges relating to an incident on Feb. 1, 2018, when RCMP at the Saskatoon International Airport found marijuana in Carter's bag.
Carter was not in the courtroom on Monday, which the Crown consented to.
He was arrested on Nov. 25, 2017 at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport as he was about to board a flight to the United States. Carter is an American citizen and frequently visits family in Florida, Zaman said.
X-rays of Carter's luggage revealed sections that were "blacked out" and upon further inspection, RCMP found commercially packaged cookies that contained THC, the active chemical in marijuana. Another package was found in Carter's carry on.
"The crown believes that an absolute discharge in the circumstances of this case are warranted. Obviously, they're in Mr. Carter's best interests. The Crown would submit it is not contrary to the public interest," said prosecutor Benjamin Johnson, pointing out that Carter doesn't have a criminal record.
Zaman said his client is an "elite" athlete, who plays both offensive and defensive positions. He also volunteers informally with football camps, teaching youth about the mechanics of football, Zaman said.
Provincial court Judge Lee Ann Martin accepted the absolute discharge, calling it "appropriate."
Although he won't have a conviction for pot possession, Carter did have to forfeit the cookies and pay $102 for court costs. He has 60 days to pay.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are in Ottawa Thursday night playing the Redblacks.