How illegal, exactly, is it to possess or cultivate weed in British Columbia? It’s simple to find real examples of what happens just by looking on the web. Below I have some actual examples of sentences.
North Vancouver Court. June 2011 Charges: Possession of Marijuana. The grower was caught by police and charged. The defense lawyer argued that it was not in the public interest to send the grower to jail. The court agreed, and sent him to an alternative program. He received the conditional sentence and completed the course. He did not get a criminal record.
Nanaimo Provincial Court. May 2011.Charge: Production / Possession for the Purposes of Trafficking. The Crown had to prove that $2000 seized by police from the defendant was proceeds of crime. The defense lawyer persuaded the court to return the funds to the defendant.
Nanaimo Provincial Court. Early 2011. Offense: Possession of more than three kilos of pot and cultivation of pot. The police argued that the grower had about 200 plants, which is over 3 kilograms. The grower’s lawyer got the Crown to change the charge to possession of less than 3 kilograms. The court imposed a 9 month conditional sentence and rejected a Crown request prohibit the grower from possessing hydroponic equipment.
Vancouver Provincial Court. October, 2010. Charge: Cultivation and possession of marijuana. The question was whether the police search warrant was valid. The grow operation had 250 plants. The police had to show that the grower had knowledge of and controlled the operation. The defense lawyer made his case to the Crown and they decided to stay the proceedings. No criminal record for the grower.
Abbottsford Provincial Court. September, 2010. Charge: Production and possession of pot. The client was in possession of more than 1000 plants. The lawyer negotiated a plea that the client was only responsible for 63 clones. That’s a guilty plea to possession of less than three kilos. The sentence was three month’s conditional, and no jail time.
Williams Lake BC. Mid- 2010. Offense: Production of marijuana and possession for the purposes of trafficking. The police busted a 5000+ plant operation. The crown wanted a two year sentence. The grower had confessed. The defense lawyer argued that his rights had been breached in obtaining the confession. He turned this into a plea bargain. The grower got a 12 month conditional sentence. No house arrest. No electronic monitoring. No probation.
This history of charges and the results is instructive. The courts are very lenient. Growers got their wrists slapped. Some escaped with no criminal record. It’s obvious that British Columbia is soft on marijuana production and possession.