It is important to know that “possession”, as defined in the Criminal Code, is not limited to the personal and immediate possession of a thing. In order for possession to be proven, the person must have knowledge and control of the matter in question. Therefore, the fact that a person does not have an illegal object directly in his or her physical possession is not a bar for conviction. Possession can be personal, constructive or joint (shared).
Personal possession implies that a person physically possesses an object. Furthermore, the person must consent to its presence and exercise a degree of control over it. Therefore, a person’s mere presence in a place where drugs are found is not sufficient to prove actual possession.
Possession may be constructive where a person does not physically possess the object however, he knows where it is and has a degree of control over it.
For example, someone asks a family member or a friend to hide something at their home with the intention of collecting it at a later time.
The possession of a singular object may attach liability to more than one person. Even if only one person is in physical possession of an object, joint possession will be found to exist where all persons involved consent to the presence of the object and exercise a degree of control over it.
Possession cannot be presumed. The mere fact that a person is in a place does not impute possession of all the objects therein. Knowledge, consent and control must be found to exist.