Class Notes (838,243)
Canada (510,789)
Criminology (2,472)
CRM3314 (19)

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Eugene Oscapella

Role of the Criminal Law Since many acts may be “harmful”, and since society has many other means for controlling or responding to conduct, criminal law should be used only when the harm caused or threatened is serious, and when the other, less coercive or less intrusive means do not work or are inappropriate. <  The Criminal Law in Canadian Society, 1982, p. 45 Canada’s Drug Strategy • Drug strategy until 2007 • Current drug strategy is an “anti-drug strategy”     Federal drug strategy: • A balance between supply reduction and demand reduction is needed. • Substance abuse is primarily a health issue. • The long-term goal of Canada's drug strategy is to reduce the harm associated with alcohol and other drugs to individuals, families, and communities. • Because substance abuse is primarily a health issue rather than an enforcement issue, harm reduction is considered to be a realistic, pragmatic, and humane approach to reduce the use of drugs. • Federally, 11 departments and agencies spend approximately $500 million annually to address illicit drug use in Canada. The main ones are Health Canada, the Department of Justice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Solicitor General Canada, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Correctional Service Canada, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In addition, municipal and provincial/territorial governments are equally involved in addressing illicit drugs. • About 95 percent of the federal government’s expenditures that address illicit drugs were used for supply • reduction (enforcement or interdiction). International Law 1. The international drug conventions contain provisions that permit a state to “denounce” a treaty (i.e., remove itself as a signatory). 2. Many obligations are “subject to constitutional principles” and/or “the basic concepts of the legal system.” 3. Strong language in each of the conventions expressly allows signatory states to adopt “measures of treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social integration” for drug users “either as an alternative to conviction or punishment or in addition to conviction or punishment.” 4. Some argue that the international human rights instruments – for example, the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – should 5. The country that is seeking to introduce a particular program relating to drugs can simply argue that its interpretation of the treaties is that such a program is permissible. Constitutional Law • Section 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. • Section 8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. • Section 9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. • Section 12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment • Section 15(1). Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. • Overall Limitation: Section 1 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Ordinary Legislation • Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (and Regulations) – replaces the Narcotic Control Act and parts of the Food and Drugs Act • Criminal Code (dealing with drug paraphernalia) and related provisions in the Food and Drugs Act Controlled Drugs and Substances Act • Expansive definitions – “traffic,” “controlled substance” • Expansive offences – “holding out” • Offences: o Possession o Seeking or obtaining controlled substance from practitioner o Trafficking (including holding out) o Producing o Importing/exporting o Possession for the purpose of . . . o Also general offences of conspiracy, party to an offence • 4. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III. • 4. (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. • Powers to search, seize • Offence-related property – forfeiture (limits on forfeiture of real estate) Exceptions • Constitutional limitations? o Exemptions created by regulations (section 55) o Narcotic Control Regulations (authority to prescribe) o Marihuana Medical Access Regulations o Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Police Enforcement) Regulations • Exemption by Minister of Health (section 56) • Special Access Programme • Non-prosecution agreements Criminal Code “Drug Paraphernalia” INSTRUMENTS AND LITERATURE FOR ILLICIT DRUG U
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