Drug Charges Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)

In Canada, drug offences are prosecuted under a separate federal law called the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, also known as the CDSA for short.   The drugs that are captured under the CDSA are listed in schedules attached to the law. There are 100s of drugs categorized that are illegal.  (In 2018, cannabis was repealed from schedule 2 of the CDSA, although there are still many offences that relate to cannabis, however, simple possession of cannabis is no longer a criminal offence).  Commonly known illegal drugs such as Cocaine, Fentanyl and Opium for example are included in the schedule of illegal drugs.   Under the CDSA there are different types of criminal activities that one can be charged with, such as possession of a drug, trafficking of a drug or cultivating and producing an illegal drug. One can even be charged with drug trafficking if one held out the substance to be a drug when in fact it was not (i.e., selling baking powder holding it out to be cocaine).  Drug charges are very serious and can include prescription pharmaceuticals as well.   If one is found guilty of a drug related offence under this law, the consequences range from absolute discharges (not a criminal record) to lengthy jail terms resulting in permanent criminal records.  The nature of the drug, the amount of the drug and the activity (for example simple possession as opposed to trafficking large quantities) will determine what type of sentencing consequences will follow from a finding of guilt. When one is charged with drug trafficking, it means that one has allegedly been found delivering drugs to another person. When on is charged with drug possession it is when you are found with an illegal substance. When one is charged with drug cultivation, it is referring to a grow-op or any building or place used to cultivate or create the drugs.  Drug convictions can have life lasting implications for the offender, including restrictions on travel to foreign countries, future employment opportunities and other serious consequences.  If you find yourself arrested, charged for using or selling or possessing illegal drugs, feel free to contact Baratz Law for a free confidential consultation.