What Are The Potential Penalties For Drug Offences?

Penalties for Possession range anywhere between a maximum of six months imprisonment (plus fines) to 7 years imprisonment, depending on:

  • the substance possessed;
  • whether it was a first or subsequent offence; and
  • How the Crown proceeded (summary conviction or indictment)

Penalties for Trafficking drugs range from a maximum punishment of 1 year imprisonment up to life imprisonment, depending on:

  • the substance(s) trafficked; and
  • whether the Crown proceeded by summary conviction or indictment (Schedule I and II offences are straight indictable).

There are mandatory minimum sentences in place where any of the following factors are present:

  • violence was used or threatened during the offence;
  • a weapon was carried, used, or threatened in committing the offence;
  • the accused had a previous conviction for a designated substance offence;
  • the offence was committed near school grounds or a public place where people under the age of 18 frequent;
  • the accused committed the offence in prison; and
  • the accused used the services of someone under the age of 18;

Penalties for Production of drugs range from 1 year imprisonment to life imprisonment, depending on:

  • the substance produced;
  • how the Crown proceeded (summary conviction or indictment); and
  • whether the substance was produced for the purpose of trafficking

The following factors are also taken into account when sentencing for the offence of Production of a Schedule I or II substance:

  • the person used real property that belongs to a third party in committing the offence;
  • the production constituted a potential security, health or safety hazard to persons under the age of 18 years who were in the location where the offence was committed or in the immediate area;
  • the production constituted a potential public safety hazard in a residential area; or
  • the person set or placed a trap, device or other thing that is likely to cause death or bodily harm to another person in the location where the offence was committed or in the immediate area, or permitted such a trap, device or other thing to remain or be placed in that location or area.


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