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Legal pot: some offences still carry lengthy jail time

Last Updated Oct 17, 2018 at 7:39 pm EDT

Cannabis is now legal in Canada, but decriminalization is by no means a free-for-all.

Regulations surrounding legal consumption, possession and distribution are still very strict and penalties are stringent.

Consequences for breaking the law can range from tickets to lengthy jail sentences.

Here are a few offences that can carry jail sentences of up to 14 years:

  • Taking cannabis across Canadian borders, whether entering or leaving the country
  • Giving or selling cannabis to anyone under the legal age limit (19 in Ontario)
  • Using a young person to commit a cannabis related offence.
  • Distributing or selling without a licence
  • Growing cannabis beyond personal limits, based on provincial stipulations

Further, for those above 19 in Ontario, possessing more than 30 grams of cannabis can result in a ticket or up to five years in prison.

When it comes to young people, the rules for are slightly hazy. Depending on the provincial age limit, anyone below that age is prohibited from buying, possessing, consuming or growing cannabis.

As per federal regulations, if a young person is caught with cannabis, possessing more than 5 grams can lead to a sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

But regulations can vary from province to province. In Ontario, if a person under 19 is in possession of cannabis, they can be required to pay a fine of up to $200 or be referred to a youth education or prevention program

Click here for more on cannabis legalization and regulation.

Click here for the full Cannabis Act.