When it comes to weed the United States has been far more progressive than Canada.
To date 23 states in the US have legalized the use of medical marijuana and two states- Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in 2012.
Possession of marijuana for recreational purposes in any province of Canada is illegal. However, medical use of marijuana is regulated. A prescription is required to possess medical marijuana and a permit to grow for personal medical use or to produce for medical distribution is required through Health Canada.
According to Health Canada statistics in 2013, there were 5,392 Canadians that indicated they access dried marijuana and/or marijuana seeds for medical purposes. However, it is estimated that 500,000 people use marijuana for medical purposes and acquire it illegally.
In Ontario during that same year, 8,649 individuals were authorized to possess medical marijuana, 5,048 held a personal-use production licenses and 651 held a designated-person production licence (a person permitted to produce marijuana for a person authorized to possess).
On October 29th, just one week before Oregonians will vote yes or no on Measure 91, a group of thirty law enforcers inclusive of judges, police officers and attorneys released a statement in support of the bill that would legalize and regulate marijuana.
In summary, Oregon’s Measure 91 would allow adults 21 years and older to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana at home and up to one ounce in public, and to grow no more than four marijuana plants per household. The Measure would also direct the Oregon Liquor Commission to establish a system of strictly regulated and registered marijuana producers, wholesalers, processors, and retailers.
In their open letter Oregon law enforcement state, “Treating marijuana as a crime has failed. Arresting and citing thousands of people in Oregon and elsewhere for marijuana related crimes is a distraction to law enforcement and a misuse of taxpayer resources. The time and money spent should go to make our communities safer. Police resources should be focused on violent criminals, thieves and criminal cartels.”
Sergeant Carolle Dionne of the North East Region Ontario Provincial Police indicated that resources applied to sniffing out marijuana are part of a bigger picture. “We’re not necessarily targeting someone who has a few joints on them. We come across possession of marijuana in our everyday duties – that’s the easy part. You’re doing a traffic stop and it’s in clear view- you get a lot of that. That’s why you see increased charges for possession of marijuana – because it’s easier. Trafficking and production are bigger and more intricate operations.”
According to Dionne the significant concern with marijuana grow-ops is that the product can be used for bartering. “Enforcement is really concerned with the more complex issue of trafficking and production. It is part of a larger trading system where some growers of marijuana in Canada are exchanging their product with other countries for opium or other hard drugs.”
It is unknown if pot cupcakes have been baked and exchanged in such barters.
Northern Ontario: Charges of Marijuana
The following information was prepared by the Ontario Provincial Police and Sault Ste. Marie Police. Please note, the statistics below represent charges, not convictions.
|North East Region|
|North West Region|
|Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario|