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The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is Canadamarker's federal drug control statute. Passed in 1996 by the Chr├ętien government, it repeals the Narcotic Control Act and Parts III and IV of the Food and Drug Act and establishes eight Schedules of controlled substances and two Classes of precursor. It provides that "The Governor in Council may, by order, amend any of Schedules I to VIII by adding to them or deleting from them any item or portion of an item, where the Governor in Council deems the amendment to be necessary in the public interest."

The Act serves as the implementing legislation for the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

(Incomplete) list of drugs

A complete list of drugs scheduled in Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act can be found here. This list is what is reflected below. Some less common chemicals are omitted.

Schedule I



Schedule II

  • Cannabis and derivatives
    • Including Marijuana, cannabis resin, Tetrahydrocannabinol
    • Not including non-viable Cannabis seed, excepting its derivatives
    • Not including, flowers, seeds or branches, and fibers derived from such stalks (Hemp)


Schedule III



Schedule IV



Schedule V



Schedule VI (Precursors)

Class A



Class B.



Schedule VII

  • 3kg Hashish
  • 3kg Cannabis


Schedule VIII

  • 1g Hashish
  • 30g Cannabis


Laws

Possession

If treated as an indictable offence, the penalty is:

Schedule I: Maximum 7 years imprisonment

Schedule II (exceeding amounts set in Schedule VIII): Maximum 5 years imprisonment

Schedule III: Maximum 3 years imprisonment

Schedule IV: It is not an offence to possess a Schedule IV substance for personal use; however, Subsection (2) of Section (4) of the CDSA states that "no person shall seek or obtain a substance or authorization from a practitioner to obtain a substance in schedules I through IV." Subsection (7) then states that it is an indictable offence to contravene subsection (2). Therefore, it is an indictable offence to attempt to acquire a Schedule IV substance but not an offence for possession. Section 5 provides that possession for the purpose of trafficking of a Schedule IV substance is an offence.

If treated as a summary conviction offence, the penalty is:

Maximum $1000 fine for first offence and/or maximum 6 months imprisonment.

Maximum $2000 fine for subsequent offence and/or maximum 1 year imprisonment.

Note: For amounts not exceeding those set in Schedule VIII, maximum fine of $1000 and/or maximum 6 months imprisonment is the only punishment.

Trafficking/Possession for the Purpose of

If tried as an indictable offence, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule I or Schedule II (exceeding amounts set in Schedule VII): Maximum life imprisonment

Schedule II (not exceeding amounts set in Schedule VII): Maximum 5 years imprisonment

Schedule III: Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Schedule IV: Maximum 3 years imprisonment

Or, if tried as a summary conviction, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule III: Maximum 18 months imprisonment

Schedule IV: Maximum 1 year imprisonment

Exportation/Possession for the Purpose of

If tried as an indictable offence, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule I or Schedule II: Maximum life imprisonment

Schedule III or Schedule IV: Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Schedule V or Schedule VI: Maximum 3 years imprisonment

Or, if tried as a summary conviction, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule III or Schedule IV: Maximum 18 months imprisonment

Schedule V or Schedule VI: Maximum 1 year imprisonment

Production

If tried as an indictable offence, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule I or Schedule II (excluding cannabis): Maximum life imprisonment

Cannabis: Maximum 7 years imprisonment

Schedule III: Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Schedule IV: Maximum 3 years imprisonment

Or, if tried as a summary conviction, the defendant is liable to:

Schedule III: Maximum 18 months imprisonment

Schedule IV: Maximum 1 year imprisonment

Amendments to the act

In November 2007, the Justice Minister Rob Nicholson introduced Bill C-26, which proposed a number of mandatory minimum penalties imposed on those who commit drug offenses. On February 27, 2009 bill C-15, a re-introduction of C-26 received first reading in the 2nd Session of the 40th Parliament of Canada.. On June 9, 2009, the House of Commons passed Bill C-15, and it is now awaiting study and approval by the Senate.

References




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