As per your request Ms. Winn I have researched the charges associated with possession of a small amount of marijuana in Nova Scotia by outlining federal laws, similar cases which involved possession of a small amount and police conduct regarding the topic as well as. If can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to let me know. Question Presented
What are the charges associated with possession of a small amount of marijuana in Nova Scotia?
Marijuana is a schedule II narcotic and is illegal to possess in Canada unless authorized by a regulator under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (Controlled Drug and Substances Act). A first offence a minimum charge of $1,000 fine six months in prison or both, with a maximum of $2,000 fine and one year in prison for a subsequent offence. Canadian law enforcement uses a two pronged approach towards tackling the sale of illicit drugs such as marijuana which focuses on demand and supply reduction. Possession of a small amount of marijuana is considered a relatively minor charge especially if it is your first offence. Prosecutors will often recommend and alternative measure (also known as diversion) as punishment for the offence. This could include a variety of programs such as community service, counseling, etc. In return no criminal charges or penalties would be laid and the charges dropped. The court has at times also decided to halt the legal process indefinitely by ruling a stay of proceedings for small possession charges as seen in the case of R. v. Clarke. More often than not a person caught in possession may be let go before even reaching the courts due to policing approaches with regards to the sale of illicit drugs. That is not to say there isn’t ramifications, people caught in possession of marijuana may be let go without any legal ramifications but may be forced to inform police of where they obtained the substance. Policing tactics set in place to catch traffickers still could get buyers in potential danger way by snitching on career criminals. In short there are various ways possession charges could go depending on the facts of a given situation. Statement of Facts
Marijuana (also referred to as Cannabis) is a Schedule II narcotic and is controlled under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. In Canada Marijuana is illegal to possess unless otherwise dictated by a regulator following the guidelines of the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Possession of under or equal to 30 grams or 1g of marijuana resin as a first offence is a minimum fine of $1,000, six months in prison, or both. Possession of under or equal to 30 grams or 1g of marijuana resin as a subsequent offence is a maximum fine of $2,000, one year in prison, or both.
The RCMP believes in and takes a two-pronged approach to illicit drugs, one that emphasizes demand and supply reduction. The RCMP believes this is the best way of reducing the use and abuse of marihuana. Diversion refers to alternative measures managed by a probation office which deals with charges outside of the court system. A prosecutor must recommend you for alternative measures. A stay of proceedings is a ruling by the court in civil and criminal procedure, halting further legal process in a trial. The court can subsequently lift the stay and resume proceedings. However, a stay is sometimes used as a device to postpone proceedings indefinitely. Discussion
According to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act:
section 4.(1) states: “Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.” section 4.(2) states: “No person shall seek or obtain (a) a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or (b) an authorization to obtain a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV from a practitioner, unless the person discloses to the practitioner particulars relating to the...