Own your ow legal marijuana business
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
Volume 2 - Policies and Practices In Canada
Chapter 12 - The National Legislative Context
The specific case of cannabis

In the first version of the CSDA, cannabis was cited in the schedule containing the most dangerous drugs to which the most severe criminal penalties described above applied. To allay criticism, the government agreed to withdraw cannabis from Schedule I and created Schedules II, VII and VIII, which concern that drug exclusively. Schedule II defines cannabis as marijuana, cannabis resin (hashish) cannabinol, and so on. Schedule VII established at three kilograms of cannabis or hashish the maximum quantity for the imposition of a less severe penalty for trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking in that substance. Lastly, Schedule VIII provided that a person who had less than one gram of hashish or less than 30 grams of cannabis in his possession for his own personal use was liable to less severe criminal penalties than those provided for in Schedule II.

As a result, if a person is convicted of possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking or possession of a quantity greater than that defined in Schedules VII and VIII, the more severe penalties provided for in Part I for Schedule I or II substances apply. Otherwise, the CSDA defines new criminal penalties. As regards Schedule VIII, section 4 of the CSDA provides that a person charged with simple possession of cannabis may be prosecuted summarily and provides for a maximum term of six months imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1,000 or both. Contrary to the majority recommendation made in the 1972 special report of the Le Dain Commission respecting the reduction of the penalty imposed for importing and exporting cannabis, life imprisonment still applies. Lastly, the maximum prison term of seven years provided for by the Narcotic Control Act for the offence of cultivation (production) of that drug remains unchanged under the CSDA.




      Early drug legislation was largely based largely on a moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate.

      Drug legislation often contained particularly severe provisions, such as reverse onus and cruel and unusual sentences.

      The work of the Le Dain Commission laid the foundation for a more rational approach to illegal drug policy by attempting to rely on research data.

      The Le Dain Commission's work had no legislative outcome, except in 1996, in certain provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, particularly with regard to cannabis.

      No action was taken on the reform proposals introduced in the 1970s, particularly for the decriminalization of cannabis.

      Thirty years after the Le Dain Commission, the legislation and its application have had no notable effect on the supply and demand of cannabis.

        The present act Act takes no account of data from research on the comparative effects of various substances, particularly the effects of cannabis.



Library Highlights

Drug Information Articles

Drug Rehab