What Medical Marijuana Means for Calgary Drug Offences

Canada's new federal regulations involving medical marijuana have gone into effect, and Calgary was among the first Canadian cities to start putting these new regulations into action. It is now possible to obtain a medical authorization for the possession and use of marijuana, and also to become an approved and licenced producer of marijuana for medical use. For those suffering from chronic illnesses that marijuana has proven to be effective in helping to treat, this is a major step forward in gaining easy access to important medication.

The legislative move has also caused great excitement amongst the proponents of full marijuana legalization, here in Calgary and throughout Canada. While the new medical marijuana regulations are a sign that attitudes towards the drug are continuing to change, though, it is still very possible to face criminal drug charges related to marijuana. This legislation does not change the fact that marijuana is a controlled substance, and recreational use remains illegal.

Misconceptions About Pot Legalization in Calgary

Many people are under the mistaken impression that marijuana has been "decriminalized," meaning that while marijuana is still technically illegal you can't actually be charged with a crime for possessing it. It is true that possession of a small amount of marijuana is more likely to result in a ticket, a fine, and potentially the requirement to appear in a Calgary-area court, much like a traffic ticket, which is an administrative rather than a criminal matter, but depending on the circumstances in which Calgary Police discover the marijuana you may be charged with a related crime.

There is also the erroneous belief that the Calgary Police have an official policy to not give tickets or make arrests for simple possession of marijuana. Law enforcement officers are given discretion when it comes to making arrests for crimes that don't threaten public safety, and some might choose not to make an arrest or start the process of laying charges for marijuana possession, but this is not something Calgary citizens should count on. Unless you have a valid medical authorization for marijuana possession, you are at risk of being charged with a drug-related offence for possessing marijuana. Even if you have a medical authorization for marijuana use, you must comply with the terms of that authorization and all other applicable rules.

When You've Been Charged with a Drug-Related Offence in Calgary

If you've received a ticket for the possession of a small amount of marijuana, there is little that a criminal defence lawyer will be able to do for you. If you have been charged with a crime related to marijuana or any other drug, however, you are entitled by law to consult with a professional, knowledgeable defence lawyer. This is often in your best interests, as it gives you a partner that has experience and insights the average Calgary citizen lacks.

For a free initial consultation with dedicated, compassionate Calgary criminal defence lawyer Susan Karpa, contact her office today. Get the help you deserve in putting forth a defence for your drug-related charges.