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|Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy|
|Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs|
|Volume 2 - Policies and Practices In Canada|
Chapter 12 - The National Legislative Context
The specific case of
In the first version of the CSDA,
cannabis was cited in the schedule containing the most dangerous drugs to which
the most severe criminal penalties described above applied. To allay criticism,
the government agreed to withdraw cannabis from Schedule I and created
Schedules II, VII and VIII, which concern that drug exclusively.
Schedule II defines cannabis as marijuana, cannabis resin (hashish) cannabinol,
and so on. Schedule VII established at three kilograms of cannabis or
hashish the maximum quantity for the imposition of a less severe penalty for
trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking in that substance.
Lastly, Schedule VIII provided that a person who had less than
one gram of hashish or less than 30 grams of cannabis in his
possession for his own personal use was liable to less severe criminal
penalties than those provided for in Schedule II.
As a result, if a person is convicted
of possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking or possession of a
quantity greater than that defined in Schedules VII and VIII, the more
severe penalties provided for in Part I for Schedule I or II
substances apply. Otherwise, the CSDA defines new criminal penalties. As
regards Schedule VIII, section 4 of the CSDA provides that a person
charged with simple possession of cannabis may be prosecuted summarily and
provides for a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of
$1,000 or both. Contrary to the majority recommendation made in the 1972
special report of the Le Dain Commission respecting the reduction of the
penalty imposed for importing and exporting cannabis, life imprisonment still
applies. Lastly, the maximum prison term of seven years provided for by
the Narcotic Control Act for the
offence of cultivation (production) of that drug remains unchanged under the
Ø Early drug legislation was largely based largely on a moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate.
Ø Drug legislation often contained particularly severe provisions, such as reverse onus and cruel and unusual sentences.
Ø The work of the Le Dain Commission laid the foundation for a more rational approach to illegal drug policy by attempting to rely on research data.
Ø The Le Dain Commission's work had no legislative outcome, except in 1996, in certain provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, particularly with regard to cannabis.
Ø No action was taken on the reform proposals introduced in the 1970s, particularly for the decriminalization of cannabis.
Ø Thirty years after the Le Dain Commission, the legislation and its application have had no notable effect on the supply and demand of cannabis.
Ø The present act Act takes no account of data from research on the comparative effects of various substances, particularly the effects of cannabis.
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
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