Around August 2021, a female Canadian soldier was charged to a military court for giving cannabis-laced cupcakes to a group of Canadian soldiers taking part in a 2018 live-fire training exercise.
Bombardier Chelsea Cogswell faced eight charges of administering a noxious substance, as well as charges of behaving in a disgraceful manner and neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
Cogswell was reportedly accused of distributing cannabis-laced cupcakes to eight soldiers from a field canteen she ran on the 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in New Brunswick on July 21, 2018.
The cupcakes were described as chocolate with chocolate frosting and a jelly bean on top during earlier testimony.
The soldiers were said to have become ill and complained of feeling paranoid and uncomfortable, claiming that the cupcakes were the only thing that they had together.
The soldiers testified in front of the military court about chaotic events in the field as acute intoxication took hold and the large-scale exercise was halted.
Soldiers who were dazed fumbled and dropped artillery ammunition. One gunner tried to load a round into a howitzer while the shell’s protective endcap was still in place. Another admitted to mistiming a fuze that regulates how far downrange a shell can go before exploding.
One soldier testified he nearly crashed a truck filled with participants into another vehicle as he struggled to focus on the road ahead of him.
Five of the soldiers reportedly tested positive for marijuana after providing their urine samples.
Additionally, THC, the major psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was also found in the wrapper of one of the cupcakes.
Cogswell initially said that she had eaten five of the cupcakes the night before and was attempting to avoid gaining any more weight, so she took the rest to the canteen. She then explained that she was attempting to diversify the menu at the canteen.
The 28-year-old was found guilty in August 2021 and then sentenced 30 days in jail for drugging her comrades by a military judge in New Brunswick in the first trial of its kind for the Canadian military.
The sentence included a reduction in rank to private gunner and dismissal from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Cogswell’s defence lawyers however appealed against the judgment. They argued that the judge erred on a number of points and that the verdict was unreasonable.
However, on May 31, 2022, at a hearing in Toronto, three judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.