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Is it a Crime to Sell Marijuana?

 

In most circumstances selling weed is a criminal offence in Canada.

Selling weed is a criminal offence in Canada.

 

While the Liberals have promised to legalize marijuana in 2017, currently you can still be charged for selling, producing or possessing marijuana.

Section 2 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act states that traffic means, in relation to a substance included in any of the Schedules I to IV,

  • (a) to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver the substance,
  • (b) to sell an authorization to obtain the substance, or
  • (c) to offer to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b),

otherwise than under the authority of the regulations.

Canabis (marihuana) is an item listed under Schedule II of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This makes it illegal to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver marijuana.

Punishment

The punishment for such offences is set out in section 3 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Section three states that:

Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)

  • (a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I in an amount that is not more than one kilogram, or in Schedule II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life, and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year if
    • (i) the offence is committed for the purposes of trafficking,
    • (ii) the person, while committing the offence, abused a position of trust or authority, or
    • (iii) the person had access to an area that is restricted to authorized persons and used that access to commit the offence;
  • (a.1) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I in an amount that is more than one kilogram, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years;
  • (b) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III or VI,
    • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
    • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and
  • (c) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV or V,
    • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or
    • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Sentencing Consideration

Section 10 sets out factors to consider when sentencing for such crimes. In particular, section 10(2) states:

If a person is convicted of a designated substance offence for which the court is not required to impose a minimum punishment, the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider any relevant aggravating factors including that the person

  • (a) in relation to the commission of the offence,
    • (i) carried, used or threatened to use a weapon,
    • (ii) used or threatened to use violence,
    • (iii) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, in or near a school, on or near school grounds or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of eighteen years, or
    • (iv) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, to a person under the age of eighteen years;
  • (b) was previously convicted of a designated substance offence; or
  • (c) used the services of a person under the age of eighteen years to commit, or involved such a person in the commission of, a designated substance offence.
6 Sep 2016

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