Update: see previous posts – December 15, 2013 Canada: To Generate Revenue Police Should Ticket, Not Arrest, December 2, 2013 Canada: Why Canada Banned Marijuana, September 30. 2013 Medical Marijuana: Harper Government Launching Billion-dollar Free Market, August 31, 2013 Marijuana: Conservative Government Studying Police Ticketing Proposal, August 22, 2013 Canadian Police Chiefs Propose Ticket System for Possession of Less than 30 Grams of Marijuana
OTTAWA — Justice Minister Peter MacKay says draft legislation that would loosen federal marijuana laws is under “serious consideration.”
MacKay says the Conservatives are looking at whether to allow police officers to issue a ticket to anyone caught with small amounts of pot, rather than laying criminal charges.
He says the Justice Department will look into the issue and possibly present a draft bill, although any policy shift would stop short of decriminalizing marijuana.
Currently, under the Criminal Code, anyone convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana can be jailed for up to five years, while first-time offenders can face fines up to $1,000 or six months in jail.
Canadian police chiefs have long called for laws that would ticket people for pot possession instead of laying charges.
MacKay made the comments Wednesday following a weekend meeting with Vancouver’s police chief, who supports that approach, as well as other law enforcement officials.