Most Calgarians are aware of the fact that in April 2017, the Canadian government introduced a bill to legalize recreational cannabis by July of 2018. This bill outlines regulations for cannabis production, health, and safety, as well as criminal prohibitions. The bill also clarifies which aspects of cannabis regulation will be up to individual Canadian provinces.
Until that time, however, the laws currently on the books will still be enforceable. Canada drug penalties can be harsh, and if you have been charged with or convicted of a crime involving marijuana possession or sale, the Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can review your case with you and provide you thorough, results-oriented legal representation.
Status of the Law
Under the law as it is today, cannabis—or marijuana—is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Unless the drug is being distributed for a medical purpose or is otherwise regulated for production, it is currently illegal to possess, sell, or distribute marijuana in Canada. The current laws are being enforced strictly due to the public health and safety hazards associated with marijuana use. These hazards include the potential for delayed mental development in young people, as well as the illicit sale profits that support organized crime in Canada.
Unlicenced Sellers of Marijuana
Storefront operations where cannabis is sold are not licenced by Health Canada under the current laws, and they are illegal. Storefront operations include dispensaries and “compassion clubs.”
Proposed Cannabis Act
A proposed Cannabis Act is currently in the works. The purpose of the proposed Act is to create a strict and controlled legal framework for producing, selling, possessing, and distributing marijuana throughout Canada. The proposed Act will do the following:
- Restrict and criminalize young people’s access to marijuana
- Impose serious criminal penalties for individuals who violate drug laws
- Promote product safety and quality requirements regarding marijuana use and possession
- Lessen the already heavy burden on Canada’s criminal justice system
- Allow for marijuana to be legally produced to reduce illegal activities associated with it
- Permit adults to possess and use regulated and quality-controlled marijuana
- Promote public awareness of the potential health risks associated with using marijuana
At this juncture, the bill will continue to make its way through the legislative process and if the Canadian Parliament approves the bill, it can become law. The target date for the bill to become law in Canada is July 2018. Until that time, however, the current laws on the books will stand—along with the current penalties and criminal sentences associated with marijuana use and possession.
Contact a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you have been charged with or convicted of marijuana use, possession, sale, or distribution, the penalties can be harsh. The lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be able to represent you in your case and help you obtain a plea deal or penalty reduction upon conviction. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Calgary criminal defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143 or contact us online.