Legal Before Illegal
Police vehicles are blaring sirens in hot pursuit of your car. Then, finally, you ditch them all, enter a secret tunnel, exit your car, and greet your partner with a “The name is Bong. James Bong”. We have painted quite a picture, haven’t we? And while that scene sounds enthralling to some, we are sure many of you would love to smoke cannabis at your pal’s without the possibility of some kind of offense for doing so.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Canada since October 17, 2018, courtesy of the Cannabis Act. The legal age for pot possession is 19 years as of now for all provinces, except Alberta (21) and Quebec (21). Legally, an individual is entitled to hold as much as 30 grams of dried cannabis in public places. Sharing with pals is restricted to up to 30 grams and purchasing is allowed from licensed retailers only. The cultivation limit is set at four cannabis plants per household; only licensed seedlings can be used for this purpose.
Now, let us talk illegal. The severity of marijuana offenses varies with the seriousness of the crime. Some violations are worth only a warning; some can land you in jail. For example, possessing cannabis in quantities of more than 30 grams can lead to a ticket for a slight difference, but a five-year tenure in prison is confirmed if you carry kilos of these plants!
Similarly, if you buy your pot from an unauthorized vendor, you can face a maximum fine of $5000 or a maximum of 6 months in prison. Trafficking laws are even more strict; the maximum punishment is 14 years. In addition, Canadian federal laws don't permit the illegal selling of pot, whether small or large! The same sentence applies to selling pot to minors. If an underage individual is found in possession of pot, it can lead to a $200 fine or referral to a rehabilitation/prevention program.
The long list of illegalities doesn’t end here, though. Get ready for a cozy five years stay in prison if you are found possessing a flower or a bid of the magical plant. Furthermore, if you are smoking or vaping cannabis where it is not permitted, start counting bills amounting to $1000 for the first offense. Multiply that with five for your second strike. Some places where it is illegal to smoke pot or vape cannabis include indoor apartments, workplaces, within 20 meters of schools and playgrounds, hospitals, and independent care facilities.
We know there will be a question about driving somewhere, so let’s answer that now. The Canadian drug-impaired driving laws declare driving illegal within two hours of drug consumption. In your head, you might be flying high, but you are just driving a car on land in reality. Hence, avoiding legal complications is best not to take that risk. You are in trouble if the THC content exceeds two nanograms per 1 ml of blood. Fines for 2-5 nanograms can range to $1000, while an excess of 5 nanograms can lead to a maximum prison sentence of ten years plus a $1000 fine for the first offense.