The Changing Landscape of Calgary's Drug Laws and Your Defence: Part 1

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Making sense of drug laws and law enforcement in Calgary can be hard today. A Calgary defence lawyer sets things straight.

Opioid scares, marijuana legalization, sting operations and other "crackdowns" by the Calgary Police and other law enforcement—the media environment and the legal environment surrounding drugs and drug laws in Calgary is enough to get anyone confused. Unfortunately, that confusion can work against you, especially if you're at risk of being charged with a drug-related crime in Calgary or have already been charged with such a crime.

No matter what you may have heard from a well-intentioned friend or colleague, drugs laws are still very much in effect in Calgary and throughout Canada, and running afoul of the law in this regard can lead to serious, life-changing consequences. In this two-part article, this Calgary defence lawyer will tell you the six most important things to know to protect your rights and interests when it comes to Calgary's drug laws.

1. Drug Offences are Still Serious Crimes Pursued by the Calgary Police
First of all, marijuana legalization might be just around the corner, but it isn't the law of the land just yet. If and when marijuana does become legal, there will still be laws controlling its production, sale, and use, and breaking those laws will likely lead to serious criminal charges.

Furthermore, there are many other substances that are and will remain illegal for the foreseeable future: cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, opioids/opiates, and many more. Just because the legal status of one commonly used recreational drug is changing doesn't mean the status of others is, and the Calgary Police and Crown prosecutors are still actively pursuing drug-related crime investigations and prosecutions.

2. Calgary's DUI/Impaired Driving Laws are Still in Full Effect
Whether it's alcohol, marijuana, a legally-prescribed narcotic, or another intoxicating substance, if it's in your system and you're on Calgary's roads or highways, you're breaking the law. Get caught, and you could find yourself facing multiple charges including an impaired driving charge—a charge that often comes with disruptive penalties like vehicle seizure and license suspension even if you aren't ultimately convicted.

Stay safe, and stay on the right side of the law. Make sure you're totally sober before you get behind the wheel.

3. A Drug Conviction Can Land You in Jail
"Sure," you might be thinking, "I know there are still drug laws on the books, but if I get caught I'll only have to pay a fine or do a few hours of community service." Your thinking is wrong. Not only are drug-related crimes still a priority for Calgary law enforcement and criminal justice officers, but the crimes carry serious consequences that can include years in prison.

If you get a jail sentence for a drug-related conviction, there's a good chance you'll have to pay a fine and/or perform community service, too. You're not going to avoid any penalties, so your best bet is to not do the crime.

Contact a Calgary Drug Defence Lawyer Today

If you've already been charged with a drug-related crime, help is available. For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary's most dedicated drug defence lawyers, please contact my office today.

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