Charges for Marijuana Possession

It is often assumed that marijuana possession is a minor offence that does not carry severe consequences in Alberta’s law courts. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The amount of marijuana a person is found to be in possession of, and the intent of it’s use, will have a significant impact on how a court chooses to view the charge. This can change a charge from a misdemeanour offence into a lengthy prison sentence, depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Charges for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Despite society’s lenient stance on marijuana possession and use, pot is still considered a controlled substance that shares a connection with other criminal behaviour. If an officer finds you to be in possession of marijuana, the first thing they will try to determine is if the drug was intended for personal use, or for distribution.

For first-time offenders, being charged with possession under 30 grams will likely carry penalties such as fines of up to $1,000, a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both. Possession charges may also lead to a criminal record, which can impact your ability to travel, apply for citizenship, or find employment.

Possession with Intent to Traffic

Even if an officer cannot concretely prove your involvement with the sale of drugs, they can still charge you with possession with intent to traffic. Penalties associated with a marijuana distribution charge are far more serious than just possession, and can result in a lengthy prison sentence. If you are found in possession of more than 30 grams, but less that 3 kilograms, of marijuana, you are facing a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Possession in excess of 3 kilograms can lead to life imprisonment.

Ryan Claxton’s Lawyers in Calgary Can Defend Your Case

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to traffic, you are facing serious criminal penalties. Often, the difference between serious criminal penalties and a minor misdemeanour charge come down to having an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact our team of dedicated criminal lawyers today; we will review the charges against you and fight to defend your case.