What penalties does a friend face for a small grow operation? (Canada)
July 28, 2009 1:54 PM   Subscribe

What penalties does a friend face for a small grow operation? (Canada)

Recently, after remarking on the many (legal) plants I currently have, a friend confided in me that he is preparing to grow a small number of marijuana plants. He was uncertain of the exact number, but said 5 was the maximum. He felt any penalties he might incur if caught would be relatively trivial.

I'm not particularly comfortable discussing this with him, and told him I wasn't interested in assisting. If he was caught and a connection made to me, there could potentially be negative consequences relating to my career.

I will likely be seeing him again this weekend. I probably won't bring it up, but if he does, I'm not sure if I should try to dissuade him or not. He has, as far as I know, no record whatsoever, and I'm inclined to believe him when he says he'd grow five or fewer plants. He was adamant that he's "not a dealer", so these are strictly for personal usage.

On one hand, the whole thing seems relatively benign, but I'd like to make him as aware as possible of possible consequences, if he is at some point caught. So, what are the likely or possible consequences? Any experiences? As mentioned, this is in Canada.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
I didn't even realize that growing pot for your own personal use was illegal in Canada. Isn't "trafficking" the only criminalized part of the cannabis business in Canada?
posted by rokusan at 2:10 PM on July 28, 2009

I am neither a lawyer nor your lawyer nor Canadian, but: If you're concerned with legal repercussions for yourself, it might be better to just not say anything.
posted by box at 2:17 PM on July 28, 2009

Canada's marijuana laws are not heavily enforced, but they are on the books - it is illegal to grow, sell, and posess marijuana. The Conservative government is also looking to make the laws more harsh.

I'm not sure where people get the idea that marijuana is legal in Canada (maybe because everyone smokes it). It is not.

One of the only differences between Canadian drug laws and some more repressive drug laws, is that in Canada it is not actually illegal to be high (driving under influence yes, posession yes) -- so if something happens to a drug user that requires a hospital visit, a Canadian can go the hospital and not expect to wake up to an arrest.
posted by Deep Dish at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2009

Everything about the cannabis business is criminalized in Canada as far as I'm aware. There are some cannabis cafes where people go and smoke, especially out west. This seems to be tolerated for the most part, but anyone holding in the cafe could be charged with possession.

There was some proposed decriminalization but it did not go through (seems the number of plants that would be seen as a less serious offence was 3, not 5)

I came across some information here

posted by skinnydipp at 2:27 PM on July 28, 2009

According to the link in the NORML Canada FAQ you can get up to 7 years for growing (producing) cannabis (marihuana (sic)).
posted by torquemaniac at 2:48 PM on July 28, 2009

Another thing: the law may confiscate anything they deem to have been obtained using the profits of drug trafficking (usually the car you are driving or the house where you are living), so growing (even if just for personal consumption) is a fairly high stakes proposition.
posted by torquemaniac at 2:55 PM on July 28, 2009

I think you're more concerned than you need to be. A few plants growing in a spare bedroom isn't going to get the police excited. Build up a whack of infrastructure and it starts to become obvious you're growing with intent to supply.

That said, where are you based? I wouldn't take my chances with the RCMP but most Municipal Police Depts are ok.

Look, Vancouver has Cannabis Cafe's and dispensaries, festivals where bin bags of grass are sold openly and a public injection site for those who REALLY need to get their high on. I wouldn't worry about a couple of plants. The only thing he's done wrong is tell people what he's up to. I would counsel him against doing that again.
posted by fingerbang at 3:46 PM on July 28, 2009

Oh yeah, something fishy about not knowing how many plants he has. I wonder if he is being economical avec le verite...
posted by fingerbang at 3:50 PM on July 28, 2009

Your friend is an idiot for even mentioning it to you.

Stay away.
posted by wfrgms at 4:24 PM on July 28, 2009

First rule of growing weed: never talk about it. Being discreet is always a good option for potheads.
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:57 PM on July 28, 2009

(marihuana (sic))

Nothing wrong with the spelling "marihuana"; it's a variant, not a solecism.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:58 PM on July 28, 2009

If your friend gets into selling it, rather than using it just for himself, one of the common ways competitors rat him out and get rid of the competition is to call the fire department from a payphone and tell them that there's a fire "in the basement" or wherever he's growing the stuff because once the fire dept. see his grow op, they're obligated to call the cops. I would suggest you not be in the house when that happens.
posted by Sully at 6:58 PM on July 28, 2009

C-15, a Bill that has passed the House, and is in the Senate (but hopefully won't pass), sets out the following penalty:
(b) if the subject matter of the offence is cannabis (marihuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years, and to a minimum punishment of

(i) imprisonment for a term of six months if the number of plants produced is less than 201 and more than five, and the production is for the purpose of trafficking...
posted by purlgurly at 8:15 PM on July 28, 2009

I watched The Union on this subject recently and found it very interesting. Canadian documentary on Canadian and US policies on marijuana.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:21 PM on July 29, 2009

« Older Buying Used Without No Clues   |   Not Another Jailbreak Question (Yes or No?) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.