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Drug Possession. Hamilton Enforcement is up .

Recently released information from Statisitics Canada shows that Hamilton is one of the top major cities for the enforcement of marijuana drug possession charges, coming in eighth out of thirty-four cities. For the purposes of gathering information, Statistics Canada defined “Hamilton” to include Grimsby and Burlington, but if Hamilton alone is considered, the enforcement rates are even higher. Not only are individuals more likely to be charged with marijuana drug possession in the city of Hamilton and the surrounding areas, but the Statistics Canada information highlighted an upward trend in the number of these types of charges over the past nine years. Across Canada, the increase in marijuana-related investigations and charges both increased by 30% since 2006. However, in Hamilton, the rate of investigations increased by 185% and the number of charges increased by 154%.

drug possession

Statistics Canada also provided additional information about the general severity of marijuana drug possession charges. These charges are unique in that they are frequently an individual’s only charge in a particular case. 55% of adults, and 50% of youth charged with possession of marijuana had no other concurrent charges. In comparison, when the cases involved other drugs, the amount of single-charge cases dropped to 23% for adults, and 24% for youth.

Getting a Lawyer to Fight Drug Possession Charges

The lawyers at Smordin Law understand that while a marijuana drug possession charge may not seem like the most serious criminal matter, it can still affect an individual’s life in a variety of ways. This includes possible employment repercussions such as a termination or lack of hiring due to a criminal record, difficulty travelling to other countries, and the stress of navigating the criminal court system. If you are facing a possession charge, contact Smordin Law to explore your options.




Production Charge. Judge Strikes Down Mandatory Minimums

Being found guilty of Marijuana Production Charge had recently commanded a mandatory sentence.    The Controlled Drugs and Substance Act reads Sec 7 (1) (2)(b):

  • (b) if the subject matter of the offence is cannabis (marijuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years, and to a minimum punishment of

    • (i) imprisonment for a term of six months if the number of plants produced is less than 201 and more than five, and the production is for the purpose of trafficking,

    • (ii) imprisonment for a term of nine months if the number of plants produced is less than 201 and more than five, the production is for the purpose of trafficking and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply,

    • (iii) imprisonment for a term of one year if the number of plants produced is more than 200 and less than 501,

    • (iv) imprisonment for a term of 18 months if the number of plants produced is more than 200 and less than 501 and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply,

    • (v) imprisonment for a term of two years if the number of plants produced is more than 500, or

    • (vi) imprisonment for a term of three years if the number of plants produced is more than 500 and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply;

Production Charge Struck Down

The Brampton man in this Globe and Mail Article successfully brought a constitutional challenge to the six-month minimum jail term for conviction on a production charge for growing between six and 200 marijuana plants for the purposes of trafficking. The man, who pleaded guilty to working in a grow-op, stated that the mandatory minimum was “cruel and unusual punishment” and the judge agreed with his position.

Following the reasoning of a recent Supreme Court decision, the judge stated that it was possible that an individual who has a licence to legally grow marijuana to accidentally grow more than the allotted amount, thereby creating a situation where an honest mistake is criminalized. The judge further stated that attaching a mandatory sentence, that at its minimum, would be six months, is “grossly disproportionate” for dealing with such a situation.

The judge added that a mandatory minimum sentence cannot be served intermittently, which would significantly disrupt an individual’s life, as a continuous six months in jail can greatly affect a person’s social and financial stability. This ruling is a step forward in ensuring equitable results for Ontarians who are facing criminal charges for growing marijuana plants.

Though this ruling only applies in Ontario, it may influence future rulings in other jurisdictions.

 

 

production charge

 




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