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Up in Legal Smoke: Canada’s Marijuana Mess

LAW UP IN LEGAL SMOKE: CANADA'S MARIJUANA MESS The 3 Main Treaties That Regulate Marijuana in Canada Criminal Code of The Controlled Drugs Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, UN Canada and Substances Act Illegal substance to possess, distribute or produce since 1923 (except for medical purposes - legal since 2001) Legal Regulations Are Strict and Clear First-time possession carries the maximum penalty of: 6 months in jail, and/or a $1,000 fine + criminal record. The criminal record limits job, travel, financial and other opportunities. It can set one back for life. More than 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record for marijuana offence. On the Surface, It Appears As If the Law Is Being Enforced FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION IN 2014 FOR MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING, PRODUCTION OR DISTRIBUTION IN 2014 57,314 24,542 people charged 10,696 people arrested 7,573 people arrested people charged 42.82% 70.80% Of the total number of criminal charges in 2014, 4.25% were for marijuana possession and 1.3% were for trafficking, production or distribution of marijuana. However, the Facts and Numbers Tel| a Different Story Cannabis is THE MOST POPULAR ILLEGAL DRUG in Canada. of all Canadians have tried it at some point. Percentage of Canadians who have tried it in the past year: ТОTAL YOUTH AGED YOUNG ADULTS ADULTS 15 - 19 AGED 20 - 24 OVER 24 10.6% 22.4% 26.1% 8% Canadian Youths aged 11-15 are the heaviest users of cannabis in the developed world. % of children aged 11, 13 and 15 who report having used cannabis in the last 12 months: 1.Canada 28.00% 2.Switzerland 24.13% 3.Spain 24.06% 4. France 22.54% 5.United States 22.05% 6.Czech Republic 21.49% 7.Latvia 18.50% 8.Slovenia 18.00% 9.United Kingdom 17.45% 10.Netherlands 17.05% 11.ltaly 16.70% 12.Belgium 16.62% 13.Luxemburg 15.00% 14.Estonia 14.69% 15.Poland 14.60% 16. Lithuania 14.24% 17.Ireland 13.11% 18.Slovakia 13.04% 19.Denmark 11.51% 20.Hungary 10.54% 21.Portugal 10.05% 22.Austria 10.04% *Source: Report Card 11: "Child well-being in rich 23.Germany 8.55% 24.Finland countries" - Unicef 8.02% 25.Iceland 7.00% 26.Greece 6.60% 27.Romania 6.08% 28.Sweden 5.54% 29.Norway 4.55% Marijuana Usage Rates Between Provinces Are Pretty Much the Same Levels of Marijuana Use Per Province (%) Judging by the CTADS survey from 2013, the levels of marijuana usage between provinces don't differ by much. The percentage of people who have tried it at least once ranges from 29.9 to 42.8, while the percentage of those who have tried in the past year ranges from 8.1 to 13.3. 45 42.8 40 38 36 34 36.5 33.7 33.7 35 31.2 30.9 29.9 30.3 30 25 20 15 10.6 12.5 10.9 10 9.6 10.1 10.7 13.3 10.3 10.2 8.1 9.1 wroundland and Labrador Canada Edward Quebec Ontario Nova Scotia Manitoba New Brunswick Alberta Saskatchewan British Columbia At Least once in a Lifetime At least once past Year But the Law Enforcement Rates Differ Does the probability of getting arrested or charged depend on the geographical region? Law Enforcement Rates for Marijuana Possession in 2014 The number of police reported crime incidents of marijuana possession per 100,000 population is 5 times bigger in some provinces than in others (ranging from 63.5 to 615.98). Likewise, the total number of people who got charged per 100,000 population ranges from 24.26 to 131.9. Moreover, the ratio of reported crime() to people charged(| also differs between provinces. 350 300 315.98 250 200 184.37 161.26 178.6 150 125.24 146.74 154.69 131.9 100 109.03 126.34 79.27 63.58 91.26 49.52 83.32 90.05 50 30.84 78.23 81.16 45.12 24.26 43.99 Newfoundland and Labrador Prince Edward Islands Canada Quebec Ontario ova Scotia Manitoba Alberta New Brunswick Saskatchewan Police Reported Crime, Rate per 100,000 Population British Columbia Rate, Total Persons Charged per 100,000 Populations aged 12 years and over Sometimes It Seems As If the Law Isn't Being Enforced at All Each April 20th on Marijuana Day, the police turn a blind eye to events that are happening. MARIJUANA SHOP There are more than 100 “medical marijuana" shops operating in Vancouver. "Storefronts selling marijuana are illegal and under this Conservative government will remain illegal. We expect the police to enforce the law." Rona Ambrose - Minister of Health - 24 June, 2015 The Bottom Line? The Marijuana Issue in Canada Is One Big Mess Despite Being Ruled As Illegal, Marijuana Is Still Heavily Used Across the Country The Law Enforcement Is Selective and Arbitrary Sources: Police-reported crime statistics, 2014, Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150722/dq150722a- cansim-eng.htm Report Card 11: Child well-being in rich countries, Unicef 2013 - http://www.unicef-irc.org/Report-Card-11/ Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS), 2013 http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/science-research-sciences- recherches/data-donnees/ctads-ectad/tables-tableaux-2013-eng.php Cannabis Policy Framework, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 2014 - http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/influencing_public_policy/Documents/CAMHCannabisPolicyFramework.pdf Marijuana dispensary regulations approved in Vancouver - http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/marijuana-dispensary-regulations-approved-in-vancouver-1.3126111 OMQ O'Neill Moon Quedado LLP Toronto Based Law Practice Toronto Criminal Defence and Corporate Lawyers - http://omqlaw.ca/

Up in Legal Smoke: Canada’s Marijuana Mess

shared by AndHanna on Oct 27
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This infographic covers hot-topic issues that include the arbitrariness of Canadian marijuana laws, selective enforcement and more. It is based on official data.

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