A judge has jailed a Bridgewater couple who regularly provided cannabis to the woman's 13-year-old son over the course of more than four months.
The mother, 39, who shared parenting duties of the teen with her estranged husband, was found guilty at trial of producing marijuana. Her common-law partner, 31, was convicted for trafficking.
“There was a culture of marijuana use” in the household, Bridgewater provincial court Judge Paul Scovil said in a written decision released Tuesday.
The door to the room where the teen’s mother had two pot plants growing “had a sign stating, ‘Mum’s Grow Op,’ said the judge.
The teen “was invited to, and given marijuana, to smoke regularly on weekends,” Scovil said.
Both the mother and her partner provided the teen with with cannabis, said the judge.
The boy “indicated he would smoke marijuana six to seven times every weekend he spent at his mother’s. At times, if he coughed when smoking he was called a ‘pussy.’ ”
The boy’s father caught wind of what was going on when he found his son in his basement trying to smoke catnip. When asked about it, the boy came clean on the marijuana usage at his mother’s home.
Although growing the number of plants the mother had in 2016 would be legal now, it wasn’t legal in 2016 when the crime took place, said the judge.
“Providing marijuana to a 13-year old was illegal then,” Scovil said. “It is illegal now.”
Brother also charged
The offences took place between Oct. 1, 2016 and Jan. 7, 2017.
The mother’s former common-law partner — the relationship dissolved after police laid the pot charges — has a criminal record that includes a drug trafficking conviction. She also has a record that includes convictions for assault and resisting a peace officer.
Both of the adults charged in the case have a Grade 9 education.
“Aggravating features pointed out by the Crown were the position of trust and authority the two accused had over the victim,” said the judge. “Further, that the two accused were promoting a culture of cannabis use to (the woman’s) 13-year old son.”
The teen’s older brother also pleaded guilty to trafficking for providing the younger boy with pot.
The prosecutor argued the mother’s partner at the time of the offence should get six months in jail and that she deserved only half that because she didn’t have a related criminal record.
Legalizing marijuana “does not lessen the concern of society in making this product available to minors,” Scovil said.
While he didn’t think a conditional sentence was appropriate, the judge said the Crown was asking for too much jail time.
“I will instead impose a custodial period of 90 days on (the man who was the mother’s common-law spouse in late 2016), which can be served intermittently. I will also impose a 12-month period of probation,” Scovil said, noting the man is to have no contact with the teen.
“He is also not to possess or consume any intoxicating substances, including cannabis marijuana while in the presence of any person under the age of 19,” Scovil said.
The judge handed the teen’s mother a 45-day jail sentence, which can also be served on weekends. “During that period of her intermittent sentence and for one-year period thereafter, she will be placed on probation.”
One of the conditions of her probation is that “she will not consume or possess cannabis products while in the presence of anyone under 19 years of age,” Scovil said.