Over the past several years, the Canadian public and law enforcement’s attitude toward marijuana use has become increasingly more lax, especially in urban areas. Although changes to current marijuana laws on the books are coming sometime in 2018, no one under the age of 19 is currently permitted to consume or possess marijuana in Calgary, Alberta.

Moreover, until the currently pending bill becomes law, the marijuana laws that are currently on the books will still be enforceable.

Canada drug penalties can be harsh, and if you have been charged with or convicted of possessing, selling, or trafficking marijuana, the Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be able to assist you with your case. Our lawyers can review every aspect of your case and work toward an outcome that is favorable to you.

Current Status of Marijuana Laws

Under the current law, cannabis – or marijuana – is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Generally speaking, unless the drug is otherwise regulated for production or is being distributed for a medical purpose, it is currently illegal to possess, sell, or distribute marijuana in Canada. The target date for the currently pending bill is July of 2018. Until that time, however, the current marijuana laws which are on the books will remain in effect. The same goes for the current penalties and criminal sentences associated with marijuana use and possession.

Potential Penalties upon Conviction

If you are found to be in possession of a low quantity of marijuana (i.e. less than 8 grams), and it is your first offence, you may qualify for the Alternative Measures Program (AMP). If you complete the required community service hours and drug treatment or counseling, you will be withdrawn from the program without a criminal record. Possession of a higher quantity of marijuana (i.e. up to 30 grams) is a summary conviction offence which carries a penalty of 6 months imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, or both. A second offence can result in up to 1 year of imprisonment, a $2,000 fine, or both.

In other cases, the Crown may proceed by way of an indictment or a summary conviction. In the case of marijuana prosecuted as an indictable offence, an offender can be incarcerated for close to 5 years. Drug trafficking charges carry even harsher penalties. For example, marijuana trafficking or possession for purposes of trafficking can result in 5 years minus a day for amounts under 30 kilograms, and life imprisonment for any amount over 30 kilograms. A conviction for cultivation of marijuana can result in up to 7 years of imprisonment.

Contact a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Today

If you have sustained a criminal charge for marijuana use, possession, sale, distribution, or trafficking, the penalties can be severe and may impact every aspect of your life. The lawyers at Bourdon Defence offer result-oriented legal representation. 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.