Possession of a Controlled Substance
One of the more common charges we see here at the National Pardon Centre falls under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Most commonly we deal with marijuana convictions but we also see cocaine, hallucinogens and the rest of it. Interestingly enough it’s actually quite rare to see a possession charge all on its own, but it happens.
What’s more common is that the person is arrested for something else, e.g assault, DUI, mischief, etc. Then during the search the controlled substance is found and the additional charge is laid.
This helps the police since the more charges they place on the offender the more likely the arrest will result in a conviction. Understandably, the police don’t want to waste time arresting people for things that are just going to be thrown out of court. They don’t necessarily care if all the charges stick, just that some do.
Simple possession of a small amount of most recreational drugs normally results in a summary conviction. But depending on the amount and the circumstance it’s possible to end up with possession for the purpose of trafficking or even a trafficking charge. Typically trafficking is an indictable offence and depending on the details can easily result in jail time.
If you have found yourself arrested for any of these offences, be very happy you don’t live south of the border. Our drug laws – in comparison to the Americans – are remarkably pragmatic despite the fact that many States have now de-criminalized marijuana. The number of people in jail for drug related offences in the USA is staggering. It’s so bad that it’s becoming obvious that drug laws ruin lives far more often drugs.
Keep in mind that if you have any kind of drug related offence you will not be treated well when attempting to cross the border. Even admitting to having used drugs at one time in your life is enough for an American border agent to refuse you entry. If that happens, you will be unable to return without a valid US entry waiver.
You best bet of course is to steer far away from drugs of any kind. But since we like to live in the real world here – and we know that drugs are a reality of modern life – our advice is to be discreet. And if you do find yourself arrested for any kind of possession charge, make sure to take care of it before attempting to travel to the United States.