Recent decades have seen increasingly permissive attitudes to marijuana throughout North America, and Canada has been no exception. With Canada set to legalize the recreational use of pot across all provinces and territories later this year, many people are looking forward to the day that they can buy, grow, and consume marijuana without worrying about legal liability.

With legalization around the corner, it may be tempting to feel like it’s okay to possess and use pot as if it were legal today – which it is decidedly NOT. In fact, crimes related to marijuana are still very much on the books, and violating them could get you in serious trouble.

The Potential Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction

If you are convicted of a crime related to marijuana, you can face extremely serious legal consequences, including fines and jail time. If you are sentenced to probation in lieu of jail time, you can expect to perform community service and be subject to drug testing. In addition, you may face other, non-judicial consequences that are often more serious and long-lasting than those imposed by the court. These can include the following:

  • Employment Difficulties – A drug conviction can result in termination from your current employment. In addition, it can make it hard to get a job in the future.
  • Problems at School – Many academic institutions will impose sanctions on students who are convicted of a drug offence. These sanctions can include probation, the loss of a scholarship, suspension, or even dismissal.
  • Difficulties finding a Place to Live – Many landlords conduct criminal background checks on people looking to rent their apartments, and a drug conviction may result in the denial of an application.
  • The Loss or Denial of a Professional Licence – Many licensing authorities may view a marijuana conviction as a concern about a person’s ability to comply with the law generally. As such, one may be used as justification to deny, suspend, or revoke a person’s professional licence.

Legal Defences May Be Available

Fortunately, a marijuana-related arrest does not necessarily have to lead to a conviction. Any problems with the way the police investigated your case could result in the evidence gathered against you being suppressed, meaning that it cannot be used in court. Even if there are no defences available, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain agreement that avoids the most serious penalties associated with a marijuana offence. Finally, if you have already been convicted of a marijuana crime, a lawyer may be able to obtain post-conviction relief such as having the record of your conviction destroyed or sealed.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime related to the possession or sale of marijuana, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. At Bourdon Defence, our experienced lawyers understand how serious drug offences can be and will do everything we can to mitigate the consequences you face. In some cases, we may even be able to get the charges you are facing dropped. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call our office today at 403-474-4143.