The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act forbids the use and possession of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, GHB, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, etc., without a medical exemption. To be charged with possession, the Crown must first test the drug with the aid of an analyst from Health Canada and identify it as a narcotic. The Crown must also prove the individual had knowledge of what the substance is, as well as control over the substance.
There are three subcategories of possession: actual possession, which refers to the drugs being located on the person’s body, physically; constructive possession, which is when it can be proven that the person had knowledge and control of the drugs, though they were not located on their person; finally, possession for the purpose of trafficking refers to someone being found in possessionof the drug with the intent to sell it. The intent to sell can be proven through the assessment of the quantity of the drugs, the value, the amount of money and denominations found, etc.
Marijuana has been legalized; however, you can still be charged with possession with the intent to distribute. It is only legal to possess 30g of dried cannabis.
Sentences for drug possession vary. Possession of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin will most likely attract a harsher jail sentence, whereas soft drugs are less likely to attract a jail sentence.
The consequences of drug related charges are threatening and have lasting effects. Beyond the possibility of facing serious jail time, being convicted will affect where you can travel and where you can or cannot apply for work.
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