Legalized Marijuana and Drug Offences: What You Need to Know

PUBLISHED ON June 20, 2019

Legal Marijuana in Toronto

Even though marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Canada, it does not mean you can use it freely wherever you want, whenever you want. There are specific regulations one must follow when using recreational marijuana. If you fail to adhere to these, you could end up facing one or more criminal drug offences.The following activities (among others) are still considered against the law, even though recreational marijuana is legal.

  • Selling and distributing marijuana without a license. Even though the new laws allow you to grow marijuana in your home, you cannot sell it to others without a license. If you are selling it without a license, you could be charged and if convicted and found guilty, be sentenced for up to 14 years in prison.
  • Supplying minors under the age of 19 with marijuana. In Ontario, you must be 19 to purchase and use marijuana recreationally. If you sell or give marijuana to someone younger than this, you could be charged with distributing/supplying a minor with cannabis.
  • Driving while under the influence of marijuana. Even though the process for determining impairment by marijuana is still being refined, if it is found you have 2 nanograms per millilitre of THC in your blood (or more) within two hours of driving, you can be charged for a DUI.
  • Possessing more than 30 grams while in public. Even though the law allows for storing more than 30 grams in the home, while outside in a public place, if found with more than 30 grams, you can be charged and face up to five years less a day in jail.
  • Purchasing, possessing, distributing, or selling “black market” marijuana. If you purchase, possess, sell or distribute marijuana that was sourced from the “black market” (illicit cannabis) you can be charged with a wide range of drug offences with varying penalties and potential prison time.
  • Using marijuana in any public area. The new law allows you to use marijuana in your home in private. There can also be designated public areas where it is allowed. Using it outside these areas is against the law.
  • Taking marijuana on an international flight to another country. Even if you are flying to another country or state in the U.S. where recreational marijuana usage is legal, you still cannot take it with you on the airplane. Doing so could be considered illegal exportation. You also cannot bring marijuana into Canada from another country. This is considered illegal importation.

As evident, it is worth your time to know the laws regarding legalized marijuana. Otherwise, you could face a serious criminal charge.

The foregoing is simply a brief summary and does not, nor is it intended to, constitute legal advice.  If you have been charged for a drug offence, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Toronto as soon as possibleas there are several viable strategic defences that could be used to help fight your charges.

For a free consultation, please feel free to call Brian Ross, criminal drug defence lawyer at (416) 658-5855 today!


A criminal record can have lifelong ramifications. Don't take a chance with an inexperienced attorney. I will fight to get your life back as I have done with countless others before you.

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Brian Ross is a founding partner at Canada’s largest criminal Law firm, Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross & Angelini, LLP. Prior to founding this firm, Brian was a partner at Pinkofskys, a leading law firm famous for its vigorous defence of its clients.

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