Drug Offences


In Canada, drug offences are charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. There are many different illegal drugs, which are classified as “controlled substances” in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

These various drugs are categorized under different “Schedules” in the Act.

The following is a list of some of the drugs that more commonly result in criminal charges:

  • Bath salts – street name for a family of synthetic drugs that produce unpredictable effects 
  • Benzo’s or Benzodiazepines – often used as a sedative or tranquilizer 
  • Crack and powder cocaine – a highly addictive stimulant 
  • Fentanyl – highly potent opioid 
  • GHB – also known as the “date rape drug” 
  • Heroin – highly addictive opioid  
  • Ketamine or “Special K” 
  • Khat – a stimulant 
  • LSD – a hallucinogenic  
  • Magic Mushrooms – a hallucinogenic 
  • MDMA – also known as “ecstasy”  
  • Methamphetamine or “meth” – a highly addictive, strong stimulant 
  • Opioids 
  • PCP – also known as “angel dust” 
  • Prescription drugs 
  • Salvia – a hallucinogen  

The criminal charges that result from drugs are varied. An individual can be charged with:

  • Possession of a drug 
  • Offering a drug 
  • Trafficking a drug 
  • Obtaining a drug  
  • Importing and/or exporting a drug  
  • Production of a drug 
  • Selling drugs 


Drug offences are taken very seriously by law enforcement and the courts. They carry significant penalties, often resulting in long jail sentences. As discussed in The Defence, the investigations into drug cases are often complex and carried out by specialized police officers. Very often these investigations include undercover police officers, search warrants, surveillance, and informants.

Some investigations are large operations, planned and executed over a number of months.  

Whether you find yourself charged with simple possession of a drug, or caught up in a large sting operation, you need an experienced, dedicated, criminal defence lawyer who understands the laws surrounding drugs, but also constitutional law, because many of your defences will come from possible breaches of your Charter rights.