REGINA - An apparently star-struck judge yesterday gave fiddler Ashley
MacIsaac an absolute discharge for possession of marijuana.

Judge Linton Smith -- who asked "Is that the Ashley MacIsaac?" when the
case came before him -- joked he had only one condition for the discharge.

"The only condition I'd like to attach is if you could get my wife an
autograph," Judge Smith told the fiddler's lawyer, Jayme Day.

Mr. MacIsaac, 26, was not in court, so Mr. Day entered his client's guilty
plea for him.

The award-winning musician was charged on July 27 after police stopped him
en route to a concert in Saskatoon.

Crown prosecutor Paul Malone said the RCMP pulled over Mr. MacIsaac's
speeding car on Highway 11 near Aylesbury, about 100 kilometres northwest
of Regina.

When the driver rolled down the window, there was "a strong smell of
cannabis," Mr. Malone said. Police found 12 grams of marijuana and a hash
pipe inside the car.

Mr. MacIsaac admitted the drugs were his and was charged with possession of
marijuana under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

A discharge means Mr. MacIsaac will not have a criminal record and will be
able to cross the U.S. border.

Mr. MacIsaac, who is touring Canada this summer, was not available for
comment but his lawyer said he was pleased with the outcome.

Mr. MacIsaac has earned notoriety from various non-musical misdemeanours,
including a 1999 concert in Halifax where he launched into a
profanity-laced rant that ended the show and resulted in widespread
cancellations of his gigs.

Pubdate: Wed, 22 Aug 2001
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2001 Southam Inc.