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Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (S.C. 1996, c. 19)

Act current to 2023-01-11 and last amended on 2022-11-17. Previous Versions

PART IOffences and Punishment (continued)

Particular Offences (continued)

Marginal note:Importing and exporting

  •  (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall import into Canada or export from Canada a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI.

  • Marginal note:Possession for the purpose of exporting

    (2) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI for the purpose of exporting it from Canada.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)

    • (a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life;

    • (a.1) [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 16]

    • (b) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III, V or VI,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and

    • (c) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Marginal note:Production of substance

  •  (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall produce a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1)

    • (a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life;

    • (a.1) [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 17]

    • (b) [Repealed, 2018, c. 16, s. 197]

    • (c) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III or V,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and

    • (d) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

  • (3) [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 17]

  • 1996, c. 19, s. 7
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 41
  • 2017, c. 7, s. 5
  • 2018, c. 16, s. 197
  • 2022, c. 15, s. 17

Marginal note:Possession, sale, etc., for use in production of or trafficking in substance

  •  (1) No person shall possess, produce, sell, import or transport anything intending that it will be used

    • (a) to produce a controlled substance, unless the production of the controlled substance is lawfully authorized; or

    • (b) to traffic in a controlled substance.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1)

    • (a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or V,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months; and

    • (b) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,

      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or

      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year.

  • 2011, c. 14, s. 1
  • 2017, c. 7, s. 6

 [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 18]

Report to Parliament

Marginal note:Review

  •  (1) Within five years after this section comes into force, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act, including a cost-benefit analysis of mandatory minimum sentences, shall be undertaken by any committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) shall, within one year after a review is undertaken under that subsection, submit a report to Parliament including a statement of any changes that the committee recommends.

  • 2012, c. 1, s. 42

Sentencing

Marginal note:Purpose of sentencing

  •  (1) Without restricting the generality of the Criminal Code, the fundamental purpose of any sentence for an offence under this Part is to contribute to the respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society while encouraging rehabilitation, and treatment in appropriate circumstances, of offenders and acknowledging the harm done to victims and to the community.

  • Marginal note:Factors to take into consideration

    (2) If a person is convicted of a designated substance offence, the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider any relevant aggravating factors including that the person

    • (a) in relation to the commission of the offence,

      • (i) carried, used or threatened to use a weapon,

      • (ii) used or threatened to use violence,

      • (iii) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V, or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, in or near a school, on or near school grounds or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of 18 years, or

      • (iv) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V, or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, to a person under the age of 18 years;

    • (b) was previously convicted of a designated substance offence, as defined in subsection 2(1) of this Act, or a designated offence, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Cannabis Act;

    • (c) used the services of a person under the age of eighteen years to commit, or involved such a person in the commission of, the offence.

  • Marginal note:Reasons

    (3) If, under subsection (1), the court is satisfied of the existence of one or more of the aggravating factors enumerated in paragraphs (2)(a) to (c), but decides not to sentence the person to imprisonment, the court shall give reasons for that decision.

  • Marginal note:Drug treatment court program

    (4) A court sentencing a person who is convicted of an offence under this Part may delay sentencing to enable the offender

    • (a) to participate in a drug treatment court program approved by the Attorney General; or

    • (b) to attend a treatment program under subsection 720(2) of the Criminal Code.

  • (5) [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 19]

  • 1996, c. 19, s. 10
  • 1999, c. 5, s. 49
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 43
  • 2017, c. 7, s. 7
  • 2018, c. 16, s. 198
  • 2022, c. 15, s. 19

PART I.1Evidence-based Diversion Measures

Principles

Marginal note:Declaration of principles

 The following principles apply in this Part:

  • (a) problematic substance use should be addressed primarily as a health and social issue;

  • (b) interventions should be founded on evidence-based best practices and should aim to protect the health, dignity and human rights of individuals who use drugs and to reduce harm to those individuals, their families and their communities;

  • (c) criminal sanctions imposed in respect of the possession of drugs for personal use can increase the stigma associated with drug use and are not consistent with established public health evidence;

  • (d) interventions should address the root causes of problematic substance use, including by encouraging measures such as education, treatment, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration; and

  • (e) judicial resources are more appropriately used in relation to offences that pose a risk to public safety.

Warnings and Referrals

Marginal note:Warnings and referrals

  •  (1) A peace officer shall, instead of laying an information against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1), consider whether it would be preferable, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.1, to take no further action, to warn the individual or, with the consent of the individual, to refer the individual to a program or to an agency or other service provider in the community that may assist the individual.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent charges not invalidated

    (2) The failure of a peace officer to consider the options set out in subsection (1) does not invalidate any subsequent charges laid against the individual for the offence.

Marginal note:Prosecution — limits

 A prosecution may be commenced or continued against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1) only if, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.1, the prosecutor is of the opinion that the use of a warning or referral under section 10.2, or of alternative measures as defined in section 716 of the Criminal Code, is not appropriate, and a prosecution is appropriate in the circumstances.

Marginal note:Record of warning or referral

  •  (1) The police force to which a peace officer referred to in section 10.2 belongs shall keep a record of any warning given or referral made under subsection 10.2(1), including the identity of the individual warned or referred.

  • Marginal note:Access to information

    (2) Any information contained in the record kept pursuant to subsection (1) may be made available to:

    • (a) any judge or court for any purpose relating to proceedings with respect to the offence to which the record relates;

    • (b) any peace officer for any purpose related to the administration of the case to which the record relates; or

    • (c) any member of a department or agency of a government in Canada, or any agent of that department or agency, that is

      • (i) engaged in the administration of alternative measures, within the meaning of section 716 of the Criminal Code, in respect of that person, or

      • (ii) preparing a report for the purpose of informing proceedings with respect to the offence to which the record relates.

  • Marginal note:Access to information — alternative measures

    (3) Information contained in the record, other than the identity of the person, may be made available to any member of a department or agency of a government in Canada, or any agent of the department or agency, that is engaged in assessing and monitoring the use of alternative measures and assessing their effectiveness, including for research or statistical purposes.

Marginal note:Evidence of warning or referral not admissible

 Evidence that an individual has received a warning or referral mentioned in subsection 10.2(1), evidence that a peace officer has taken no further action in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) and evidence of the offence are inadmissible for the purpose of proving prior offending behaviour in any proceedings before a court in respect of the individual.

Marginal note:Conservation of record — conviction

  •  (1) Any record of a conviction that occurs before the day on which this section comes into force in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) must be kept separate and apart from other records of convictions within two years after that day.

  • Marginal note:Conservation of record — deeming

    (2) A conviction that occurs after this section comes into force in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) is kept separate and apart from other records of convictions two years after the conviction or two years after the expiry of any sentence imposed for the offence, whichever is later, and the person convicted of the offence is deemed never to have been convicted of that offence.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the use, removal or destruction of records kept separate and apart referred to in subsections (1) and (2).

Exception for Service Providers

Marginal note:Exception

 No social worker, medical professional or other service provider in the community commits an offence under subsection 4(1) if, in the course of their duties, they come into possession of a substance included in Schedule I, II or III and they intend to, within a reasonable period, lawfully dispose of it.

PART IIEnforcement

Marginal note:Information for search warrant

  •  (1) A justice who, on ex parte application, is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

    • (a) a controlled substance or precursor in respect of which this Act has been contravened,

    • (b) any thing in which a controlled substance or precursor referred to in paragraph (a) is contained or concealed,

    • (c) offence-related property, or

    • (d) any thing that will afford evidence in respect of an offence under this Act or an offence, in whole or in part in relation to a contravention of this Act, under section 354 or 462.31 of the Criminal Code

    is in a place may, at any time, issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer, at any time, to search the place for any such controlled substance, precursor, property or thing and to seize it.

  • Marginal note:Application of section 487.1 of the Criminal Code

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an information may be submitted by telephone or other means of telecommunication in accordance with section 487.1 of the Criminal Code, with such modifications as the circumstances require.

  • Marginal note:Execution in Canada

    (3) A warrant issued under subsection (1) may be executed at any place in Canada. Any peace officer who executes the warrant must have authority to act as a peace officer in the place where it is executed.

  • (4) [Repealed, 2019, c. 25, s. 385]

  • Marginal note:Search of person and seizure

    (5) Where a peace officer who executes a warrant issued under subsection (1) has reasonable grounds to believe that any person found in the place set out in the warrant has on their person any controlled substance, precursor, property or thing set out in the warrant, the peace officer may search the person for the controlled substance, precursor, property or thing and seize it.

  • Marginal note:Seizure of things not specified

    (6) A peace officer who executes a warrant issued under subsection (1) may seize, in addition to the things mentioned in the warrant,

    • (a) any controlled substance or precursor in respect of which the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds that this Act has been contravened;

    • (b) any thing that the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds to contain or conceal a controlled substance or precursor referred to in paragraph (a);

    • (c) any thing that the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds is offence-related property; or

    • (d) any thing that the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds will afford evidence in respect of an offence under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Where warrant not necessary

    (7) A peace officer may exercise any of the powers described in subsection (1), (5) or (6) without a warrant if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would be impracticable to obtain one.

  • Marginal note:Seizure of additional things

    (8) A peace officer who executes a warrant issued under subsection (1) or exercises powers under subsection (5) or (7) may seize, in addition to the things mentioned in the warrant and in subsection (6), any thing that the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds has been obtained by or used in the commission of an offence or that will afford evidence in respect of an offence.

 
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