Impact of drugs

Although there has been much in the news about legalizing marihuana, unfortunately it is still not legal unless you are medically allowed to grow and consume it. By medically allowed, it is not someone self-diagnosing themselves with an illness, it is obtaining a doctor’s referral and obtaining a license from Health Canada.

What can happen if you do not have legal authorization to have marihuana, you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance, if you have a small amount, or possession for the purpose of trafficking if you have an amount that is more than personal use, or is divided into little baggies. Trafficking means giving it, selling it, holding it for someone else. If you have any money on you, that may be seized as proceeds of crime-that is you got this money selling drugs. These are offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act., and Criminal Code of Canada.

Although you may get a blue slip of paper, it is a police order to appear at court and for your prints on a particular day and place. If you do not do so, you will be charged with failing to appear for court and/or failing to appear for prints which will cause you to be arrested and possibly held overnight. You will have to contact someone to sign a bail for you.

The police and the Crown may try to seize your money, car, house under the Civil Forfeiture Act, 2001, claiming you got these illegal activity or will use it for illegal activity in the future. You may not even be charged.

If you are found guilty of possession or possession for the purpose of trafficking you will have a criminal record, you will be stopped from going to the United States, you will have difficulty, getting work or volunteering. If you are an adult this record will be with you forever unless you get a criminal record suspension.

A criminal record why is it harmful

A lot of young people think that a youth record is not a big deal and it disappears when they turn 18. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. A youth record may disappear if you do not get into any trouble as an adult during the time period needed to have the youth record expunged depending on the charge, whether it is summary conviction or indictable and the length of probation.

If you get into trouble as an adult and are found guilty your youth record will continue with your adult charges.

Many people think I have served my time why are they bringing up an old record. Past behaviour predicts future behaviour so the court and the Crown use your record to predict whether you will follow court orders and commit further offences. A record that has many fail to comply court orders or fail to appear court/prints will make it difficult for a person to get bail.

The record will also be used to decide what is an appropriate sentence for the current offences. Usually, the court will state a penalty will be higher than one received before.

It is best not to have a youth or adult record and if you are charged to follow the conditions of your bail.

Update to police records check

The Ontario government is looking at the social, economic and travel implications of the police record check to those with no criminal records see the attached article: