Police-reported cannabis offences in Canada, 2018: Before and after legalization

Release date: July 24, 2019
Police-reported cannabis offences in Canada, 2018: Before and after legalization
Description: Police-reported cannabis offences in Canada, 2018: Before and after legalization

Police-reported cannabis offences in Canada, 2018: Before and after legalization

New cannabis legislation in Canada

C-45

Provided a legal framework for the legalization and regulation of the production, distribution, sale, possession, importation and exportation of cannabis in Canada.

C-46

Introduced new provisions related to police ability to screen drivers for drug impairment.

For more cannabis data:

  • Cannabis Statistics Hub
  • National Cannabis Survey

In the 2 ½ months following legalization in 2018, police reported 1,454 cannabis offences under the new Cannabis Act.

Rate of cannabis offences, 2005 to 2018
Year Rate of cannabis offences per 100,000 population
2005 188
2006 183
2007 191
2008 197
2009 195
2010 221
2011 228
2012 212
2013 210
2014 194
2015 171
2016 154
2017 136
2018 *Cannabis legalized October 17, 2018 97

In 2018, police-reported cannabis offences declined for the 7th year in a row.

But, incidents of importation and exportation increased prior to legalization in 2018: +22%.

Change in rate of all police-reported cannabis offences by province or territory, 2017 to 2018
Province or territory Percent change in rate per 100,000 population
Newfoundland and Labrador -28
Prince Edward Island -28
Nova Scotia -39
New Brunswick -28
Quebec -28
Ontario -26
Manitoba -39
Saskatchewan -35
Alberta -38
British Columbia -26
Yukon -32
Northwest Territories -39
Nunavut -29
Canada overall -29

Most common Cannabis Act offences

Most common Cannabis Act offences
Offence Proportion of Cannabis Act offences
Importation and exportation of cannabis 21%
Possession of illicit or over 30 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) by an adult 18%
Possession of over 5 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) by youth 12%
Possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling 10%

For more information, see the full Juristat article: "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2018."

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2018," Juristat, Statistics Canada.

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