Even with the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use, you can still be charged with various drug offences, like possession, trafficking or production. The Controlled Substances Act contains details about the different drug offences and the severity of each offence.
The substances range from marijuana to more serious drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. Even though you are charged with a drug offence does not necessarily mean you will be found guilty. There are specific procedures the police must follow when conducting searches and seizures.
If the police were to violate your legal rights during a search and seizure of drugs, they could potentially be excluded from evidence. Without evidence of drugs, then the Crown would not have a case against you. As you can see, this is just one way to fight drug offences without being found guilty. The only way to obtain such a successful outcome is with help from our drug lawyer in Brampton, at Manbir Sodhi Law.
What Is Drug Possession?
The drug offence of drug possession is being in possession of one or more of the substances listed in the Controlled Substances Act. The amount you are in possession of does affect the severity of the offence and the sentencing guidelines should you be convicted and found guilty of the offence.
Additionally, the “Schedule” of the substance will equally determine the severity of the offence. For example heroin is listed as a Schedule I substance in the Controlled Substances Act, while marijuana is listed as a Schedule II substance.
If you are caught in possession of a Schedule I substance, the consequences of being convicted and found guilty will be harsher than if you were convicted and found guilty of s similar possession offense with s Schedule II substance.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking offences are those where one person distributes varying quantities of one or more controlled substances to others. People mistakenly assume that the exchange of cash must take place in order to be charged with drug trafficking.
However, trafficking can involve the exchange of property or nothing at all. If one were to give another drugs listed in the Controlled Substances Act and not take any cash or property from them, they could still be charged with trafficking. Just like drug possession, the amount and type of substances being trafficked will determine the severity of the offence and sentencing, if convicted and found guilty.
What Is Drug Production?
Drug production is the drug offence of producing controlled substances. This could include growing marijuana illegally or producing methamphetamines inside the home. It can include any of the drugs listed in Schedule I, II, III, or IV of the Controlled Substances Act.
One can be charged with a production offence even if they are producing the substances for their own personal use without the intention of trafficking. As with other drug offences, the severity of the punishment will depend on the type of drug being produced and production volume.
Is Marijuana Still Listed a Drug Offence?
It is important to keep in mind while you can legally be in possession of marijuana for recreational and medical use, there is a limit to the amount you can purchase at one time. In addition, growing one’s own marijuana plants at home may be allowed under the new laws. However, there is also a limit to the number of plants one may own.
That being said, it is still illegal to produce, traffic and possess marijuana that was obtained through illegal channels – on the black market. If one is found to be in possession, trafficking or producing marijuana outside the new law, then they could still be charged for a drug offence.
Investigation, Bail Hearing and Release
Prior to being charged with a drug offence the police will have conducted an investigation. Upon arrest, the police will read your rights, including the right to speak to your own drug lawyer in Brampton, and put you in jail pending your bail hearing.
At your bail hearing, it is important to secure you release from custody by ensuring you have your criminal defence lawyer present. After release, your lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your charges to determine the best strategies for building a strong defence.