Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Drug Trafficking (Schedule II)
|Drug Trafficking (Sch. II)|
|Section 5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act|
|Election / Plea|
|Election||Summary (<1g R or 10g M)|
Indictable (>1g R or 10g M)
|Jurisdiction||Prov. Court |
SC Judge + PI (Indict.)
SC Jury + PI (Indict.)
|Maximum||$1,000 or 6 months jail|
|Avail. Disp. (Indict.)||Discharge|
|Maximum||life in jail (>3kg)|
5 years less a day jail (< 3kg)
|Offence Elements |
|Trafficking (Sch. I), (Sch. III), (Sch. IV)|
Trafficking in substance
5. (1) No person shall traffic in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.
(2) No person shall, for the purpose of trafficking, possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV.
(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)
- (a) subject to subsection (4), where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life;
Punishment in respect of specified substance
(4) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2), where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VII, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day.
(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VIII is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.
(6) For the purposes of subsection (4) and Schedule VII, the amount of the substance means the entire amount of any mixture or substance, or the whole of any plant, that contains a detectable amount of the substance.
Schedule VII sets cannabis resin and cannabis marijuana at 3kg.
Schedule VIII sets the cannabis resin at 1 g and cannabis marijuana at 30 g.
Schedule II: Marijuana, Hash, etc.
- For principles on Drug Offences Generally, see Drug Offences
Offenders found trafficking in a Schedule II controlled substance (e.g. Cannabinoids) in an amount greater than 3kg are liable for an indictable offence with a maximum penalty of life in jail. Where the amount is equal or less than 3kg, the offender is liable for an indictable offence with a maximum penalty of 5 years jail.
The primary sentencing principles for these offences involving soft drugs are protection of the public through denunciation and deterrence. 
The courts do recognize a distinction between hard and soft drugs, where soft drugs are treated less seriously from hard drugs.
The upper range of marijuana trafficking is typically 12 months jail and above.
The lower end of the range is around 6 months jail, served either conditionally or on a straight-time basis.
At the very lowest end there will be the rare granting of suspended sentences, fines, or discharges. This usually involves exceptional circumstances such as the offenders position in the community or a benevolent intent behind the act.
Alberta does not have a starting point for sentence on soft drugs. However, the norm is for a sentence of incarceration regardless of prior record with a range between 6 and 12 months.
- R. v. Butt, (2007), 265 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 98 (N.L.S.C.) R. v. Murray, 2012 ABPC 123 at 92
- R. v. Butt and Gallant 1993 CanLII 7743 (NL CA), (1993), 106 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 92 (N.L.C.A.)
R. v. McKie (1981), 29 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181 (P.E.I.C.A.)
R. v. Chen, 2007 ONCA 230 (18 months jail)
R. v. Nguyen (2007), 227 C.C.C. (6th) 356 (C.A.) (15 months )
R. v. Imoro,  O.J. No. 996
R. v. Nagtzaam,  O.J. No. 5409 (O.C.J.)
- R. v. Do,  O.J. No. 5491 (O.C.J.)
R. v. Schweitzer,  O.J. No. 5228 (O.C.J.) (5 months jail)
R. v. Stover,  O.J. No. 3736 (O.C.J.) (4 months CSO)
R. v. Small 2001 BCCA 91
R. v. Lucas,  B.C.J. No. 1631 (Prov. Ct.)
- R. v. Murray, 2012 ABPC 123 at para. 93
- Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Offences by Penalty
- Canadian Criminal Law/Appendix/CDSA Schedules