The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) sets out which drugs are illegal in Canada
(marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.). There are four main offences in the CDSA: possession,
possession for the purpose, trafficking, and importing.
A possession charge means you are found with drugs in an amount for personal use. If it is your
first time facing a possession charge (under 30 grams of marijuana), you may be eligible for a diversion program. This means your charges may be withdrawn.
Possession for the purpose of trafficking means that you are in possession of an unlawful
substance for the purpose of selling or giving the substance to another person. This usually
means you are in possession of a large amount of an illegal substance – not for personal use (i.e.
you intend to sell the drugs). Trafficking in illegal drugs means selling or giving them to other
individuals, including undercover police officers. Importation of drugs occurs when you enter
Canada with an illegal substance.
Many people ask the question, “How do I beat my drug charge?” when charged with a drug
To be found guilty, the Crown must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown
must always prove the nature of the substance and possession of the substance. To prove
possession, the Crown must show that you had knowledge and control of the substance. When
charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, the Crown must also prove that the
possession was for the purpose of trafficking.
Even if the Crown proves all of the necessary elements of the offence, you can still win your
case by demonstrating that your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been
violated by the police. For example, your right to be protected against unlawful search and
seizure may have been violated if the police searched a home or a car without a search warrant.
If you have been arrested and charged with any drug offences (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.),
Lockyer Posner Craig can help you to avoid a criminal conviction.