Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Possession

Date: June 28, 2016

What does it mean to traffic drugs? Often in the news and on T.V. shows you will hear someone being referred to as a drug trafficker. Usually, this phrase is used to indicate that someone is selling drugs. However, it can encompass much more than that. The definition of trafficking, taken from s. 2(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is:
(a) to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver the substance,

(b) to sell an authorization to obtain the substance, or

(c) to offer to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b)


This is far more than simply selling. Passing a joint around at a party technically makes every person involved guilty of trafficking. Sharing drugs with a friend can also make you a drug trafficker. The Supreme Court considered such a circumstance in R. v. Creighton, [1993] 3 SCR 3 ( http://canlii.ca/t/1fs09) where an individual was convicted of manslaughter after his friend died when he injected cocaine into her. The court held that the act of injecting cocaine was covered by trafficking.


The police take drug crime very seriously. However, the courts are beginning to modernize and recognize that harsh sentences do not reduce drug use or recidivism. It is important when dealing with drug charges to ensure you get the best criminal defense you can.












*Note: The information on this page is for general knowledge and is not legal advice.