Possession of marijuana is illegal in Canada. In certain cases, people can be prescribed marijuana as part of a medical marijuana regulatory scheme, but in most cases, possession is a crime.
When a person between 12 and 17 is charged with possession marijuana, they are charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, for offences found in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
The possible sentences for marijuana possession for young people ranges from:
- Custody in a Youth Detention Centre
- Deferred Custody Order (see TR&Co article about Deferred Custody for Youth for more info)
- Probation as part of a Suspended Sentence
- Conditional Discharge
- Absolute Discharge
- If the possession occurred in a vehicle, there may be consequences for the young person’s driver’s licence
In some cases, the Prosecutor may have the discretion to divert youth charges out of the justice system to allow a young person to deal with the charge without a youth record. The circumstances of each particular case impacts the possible consequences for a conviction for a young person for possession of a drug.
Drugs are separated into different categories based on the government’s view of the seriousness of the drug.
Criminal defence of young people is not the same as defending adults. The Youth Criminal Justice Act contains special provisions and protections for young people.
For information about Young People Sentenced as Adults, click here.
For general information about the Youth Criminal Justice Act, click here.
To see the Youth Criminal Justice Act, click here.