BRIDGEWATER, N.S. — A couple who regularly gave marijuana to the woman’s 13-year-old son — and ridiculed him when he coughed while smoking it — have been jailed by a Nova Scotia judge.
“In the … household there was a culture of marijuana use,” Judge Paul Scovil said in a sentencing decision released Tuesday.
“It was not legal to give a 13-year old recreational cannabis at the time of the offence, it is not legal now and it is highly unlikely it ever will be.”
The couple, now broken up, were both in their 30s and unemployed. Both had only a Grade 9 education and multiple prior convictions.
The Bridgewater, N.S., provincial court judge said the mother had two marijuana plants growing in a room marked with a sign: “Mum’s Grow Op.”
“(The boy) was invited to, and given marijuana, to smoke regularly on weekends … (He) indicated he would smoke marijuana six to seven times every weekend he spent at his mothers. At times, if he coughed when smoking he was called a ‘pussy.'”
The boy’s father, who shared custody with his estranged wife, discovered what was going on when he caught his son trying to smoke catnip in his basement and the boy confessed.
The mother was found guilty of producing marijuana, while the stepfather was convicted of trafficking, between Oct. 1, 2016, and Jan. 7, 2017.
The mother was ordered to serve 45 days in jail, while the stepfather was jailed 90 days. Both can serve the time intermittently, likely on weekends.
“While the production of the number of plants that (the mother) had in 2016 may be legal now, that production was illegal then,” said the judge.
The teen’s older brother had previously pleaded guilty to trafficking by giving his sibling cannabis, and was given a 12-month conditional sentence.
The boy’s stepfather argued that he made no money, that the crime amounted to “a moral breach and only a technical violation of the law,” and that his sentence should be mitigated because the drugs were shared within a family unit, the judge said.
But the judge noted that the legislation makes clear that Parliament “has specific concerns regarding the provision of drugs of any kind to children.”
“I wish to make it very clear, the legalization of cannabis does not lessen the concern of society in making this product available to minors,” the judge said.
The Canadian Press