Legalization in Canada is on the horizon, and that means the country’s drug warriors are getting ready to get a little more aggressive.
The federal government is in the process of legalizing marijuana, which means the government will soon have the ability to crack down on those who break the law.
And the feds will be making a lot of arrests.
It’s been five years since the Liberals legalized pot, and by the time they return to power in 2019, they’ll have spent more than a decade locking up tens of thousands of Canadians who have violated the law, while spending a little less than $50 billion on the criminal justice system.
The federal government’s marijuana crackdown will come into effect at the end of 2020, and the new regime will include more serious penalties, like jail time for those caught growing more than six plants in a residence.
Under the new rules, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, or a small amount in a public place, will be considered a serious offence, punishable by up to two years in jail.
The penalties will rise significantly, too.
“The Criminal Code will be a very different place,” said Justice Minister Peter MacKay in an interview with CBC News.
“There will be harsher penalties for certain offences.”
The government will introduce a new drug classification system to help weed whiz cops figure out which marijuana is legal and which isn’t.
The new classification will be based on how much THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in marijuana, the government says.
It will also include a new category called “indica” and a “sativa” that includes oils and extracts.
“It will have more complex definitions and definitions for different categories,” said MacKay.
“For example, a small quantity of tetrahydro or a sativa plant will be an indica plant.
It may be a satio plant.
You can’t just get your hands on one plant and grow a bunch of plants and then sell them in your home,” he added.”
You will be charged with a more serious offence.”
The Liberals promised to crack the laws down on pot and the criminalization of it, and they’ve done just that.
In January, they passed a law that will allow the government to crack pot down on anyone caught growing up to six plants, as well as anyone who has a cannabis plant that’s more than three years old.
The government says it will use this new power to make sure that “the supply of marijuana remains strictly controlled, and no one will grow a plant or attempt to cultivate a plant that exceeds a certain age, in accordance with existing law.”
But that’s not the only law that the Liberals will be cracking down on.
A new law will allow them to crack up to 50 other criminal offences including marijuana-related possession, distribution and trafficking.
They also plan to create a special unit for the purpose of prosecuting people for drug trafficking and money laundering.
And the federal government will be using the new powers to crack a handful of marijuana- related bills.
The most recent bill, which is now in the hands of the government, makes it illegal to possess any marijuana worth more than $5,000.
And it makes it a criminal offence to sell marijuana for more than five grams.
It also allows police to charge someone who sells a joint worth more, $20 or $50, for trafficking.
But the bill has been controversial, and MacKay says he’ll be taking a look at it more closely when he returns to power.
“When the government passes legislation like this, we will take that legislation very seriously,” he said.
This is the first time that we’ve had that type of legislation on the books in Canada.”