The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) is Canada's current drug legislation which regulates certain drugs and substances which are listen in Schedules I to VIII of the CDSA. There are currently no mandatory prison terms under the CDSA but serious drug offences can result in life imprisonment. The offences listed in the Act include possession, “double doctoring”, trafficking, importing and exporting, and production of substances included in the schedules. Punishment depends upon the substance in question and what schedule it applies.
Schedule I includes drug that are usually thought of as the most dangerous, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Schedule II lists cannabis and its derivatives, and Schedule III includes amphetamines and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Schedule IV includes barbiturates.
[top]Canada Drug Law History
The first federal drug strategy in Canada appeared in 1987 under the title “National Drug Strategy”. It was around this time when Canada recognized the problem of substance abuse, where the Opium Act of 1908 was the central representation of Canada’s drug laws. Since in 1987, legislation has grown in number and in detail, and include the Opium and Drug Act, the Narcotic Control Act, the Food and Drug Act, and the current Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The current legislation is the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which was introduced in 1997 to control the use of illicit drugs.