Conservative MP had positive test after Baja trip and spared jail time

Conservative MP Richard Lehoux passed a drug test after a September 5 vacation in the Baja California peninsula, where he took a cruise, was charged with drunken driving and later had a positive test…

Conservative MP had positive test after Baja trip and spared jail time

Conservative MP Richard Lehoux passed a drug test after a September 5 vacation in the Baja California peninsula, where he took a cruise, was charged with drunken driving and later had a positive test for cannabis.

Lehoux told the Board of Commons that he was not impaired or under the influence of drugs, but volunteered to take the test shortly after arriving back home Sept. 6. Lehoux is known to use cannabis, and he is the sponsor of several bills legalizing the drug and legalizing cannabis in Canada.

“Mr. Lehoux volunteered to take the test upon arrival back in Ottawa, for which he was properly tested,” Conservative MP Laurie Hawn said in a statement. “He called me the next day and indicated that he had a positive test. He said that if he had been impaired he would not have volunteered for the test.”

The MP was charged with impaired driving in June, but was conditionally released. He pleaded guilty in early August and was sentenced to 90 days in jail but avoided being sent to jail.

While facing charges, he was photographed allegedly taking a marijuana cigarette from the airport and quickly quit his job as a local television host.

Lehoux’s plea of guilty under Highway Traffic Act law to an impaired driving charge means that the judge must decide whether his positive result is sustained. At this point, the judge will determine if he’s lying or not. The official charge was for impaired driving causing bodily harm.

A spokesperson for the government would not comment on Lehoux’s testing, saying that in such cases it’s up to the Crown to decide what is “a reasonable outcome based on the evidence.”

Lehoux has been out of office since his guilty plea last month. An hour before he was arrested last month, Lehoux was in Buffalo, New York, campaigning in advance of the Conservative party’s nomination in his riding, Niagara West-Glanbrook. He was campaigning in the United States, rather than in Canada, in part because of concern about securing a Conservative nomination in the Mexican region. Lehoux opted to run for a different seat in the election.

In his statement, he said he is “pleased to be returning to my duties as a Member of Parliament.”

His wife, Jo-Anne Tafel, tweeted on Monday that her husband is coming back to work “within the next day” and that he will no longer face the court.

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