As of 17th October 2018, possession and use of Cannabis is now officially legal in Canada. Initially planned to be put into motion during the past summer, it was a delayed declaration inducing ecstasy and satisfaction in the minds of the Cannabis enthusiasts. The implementation of provincial and territorial legalizations caused the delay.
According to the Bill C-45, Marijuana is legal across Canada, but distribution is in accordance with the individual provinces.
The factors on which provincial distribution depends:
- The legal age of consumption
- Categories of establishments permitted to sell Marijuana
- Permitted consumption areas
- Allowance of homegrown Marijuana
Some provinces strictly permit only government run establishments to sell marijuana while some, such as British Columbia even allow private sellers. The legal age of consumption is 19 or above in all provinces except Alberta and Quebec, where it is 18 or above.
The unlicensed sale of Cannabis is still illegal, i.e., even an adult cannot sell Cannabis to another legalized adult if the former doesn’t have a proper distribution license. Unlicensed sale or selling weed to a minor is recorded as an offense and can lead to a monetary penalty of $5K or at most 14 years of imprisonment.
Leniency in laws should not be anticipated
The lawmakers and protectors have put forward the notion of sting operations to curb the sale of Cannabis to minors. Retailers discovered of illegally selling Cannabis to minors will be strictly penalized and the announcement of conduction of sting operations has surely intimidated such distributors. These will imitate the already conducted operations to locate the illegal distributors who sell alcohol and tobacco to minor customers. The proposed sting operations will be conducted in the provinces of British Columbia, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
The provincial law keepers suggested keeping the test customers to be around 18 years of age to avoid any conflicts with the federal law. The monetary fines vary with the provinces. A distributing establishment selling Cannabis to a minor will be fined $10K in Newfoundland and the same offense amounts to a penalty of $100K in Saskatchewan.
Alterations in the attainment of Record Suspension
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quoted reconsideration in the record suspensions (or pardons) for offenses pertaining to Cannabis once the proposed legalization is put into motion. Nevertheless, the government has not expressed any legal desire to grant record suspensions to a convict involved in Cannabis trafficking.
A record suspension (formerly known as a Pardon) seals off the visibility of one’s criminal record while the conduction of a background check. Employment, residential privileges, adoption chances, acceptance by the society, etc. all these factors are drastically affected by a criminal history and record suspension provides some relief in such cases.
However, record suspension in Canada doesn’t guarantee immigration to certain countries such as US because the US Border Patrol has access to information recorded on the CPIC and can thus, deny entry to a convict. To get past such hindrances, a US Entry Waiver aids. To get more details, check out cannabis pardon