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Cannabis is legal but there are still limits…

Twenty grams of marijuana. New ordinances in Miamai-Dade County and other south Florida jurisdictions allow police officers to charge those in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana with a $100 civil fine rather than a misdemeanor criminal offense. The Florida ACLU is discussing the possible creation of similar laws with county officials around the state including those who run Sarasota County. Photo shows 20 grams of marijuana. cannabis, marijuana, wweed DPOTFINES DPOTFINE Photo courtesy of NORML of Florida.

Part 3 of a 4 part series of stories from the Fort St. John RCMP on cannabis.

Miss part 1 and 2? Click the numbers. They each open in a new tab.

Part 3 below…

The concept that Cannabis is legal now may be synonymous with some to unlimited access and possession amounts. “Pot’s legal, I can grow, own, carry and smoke as much as I want… and nobody can do anything about it!”

This article is to let readers know that, yes, cannabis has now been legalized, but there are possession limits. There are very strict laws designed to protect youth and public heath as well as penalties for those who have more than the legal possession amounts.

The starting point is to remind readers there is still a legal age of 19 in British Columbia. Under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA), it is illegal for persons that are 18 and under to possess, consume, produce, supply, sell, purchase cannabis or any cannabis accessory. Violations of these laws by minors can be enforced by $230 violation tickets and all cannabis being seized.

To set the record straight is to let everyone know that yes Cannabis is legal but only to a specific limit. How much can an adult (19 and over) possess to remain within the legal boundaries?

An individual 19 years old and older can possess

30 grams of dried cannabis or
150 grams of Fresh cannabis or
450 grams of solids containing cannabis or
2,100 grams of non-solids containing cannabis or
7.5 grams of cannabis non-solid concentrates or
30 cannabis seeds

The possession limit of legal recreational cannabis is 30 grams of dried cannabis OR a combination of classes of cannabis that equate to no more than 30 grams of dried cannabis (source CCLA, Section 52). All cannabis in possession of an individual over 30 grams is considered illicit as it is considered over the legal possession limit and can be seized by police.

When it comes to live plants, adults (19 and over) may possess no more than 4 plants. These adults may possess the plants in their residence through all stages of growth but these plants cannot be visible to the public. If the plants are visible from a public place, the owner can be issued a $230 ticket. The adult may also possess these 4 plants in public for transportation purposes but NOT when they are budding or flowering. Adults possessing budding or flowing plants in a public place can face up to five years in prison.

Under the CCLA, an individual caught by police with more than 30 grams of dried cannabis (or the equivalent of more than 30 grams) can be ticketed $230. Under the Federal Cannabis Act, police can forward a charge before the court under Section 8(1)(a) with an offence under this Act being punishable by up to five years in prison.

When an individual is found to be carrying more than 30 grams (combined) of dried cannabis, distribution charges can also be considered. Under Section 9(1)(a)(I) distribution charges can be considered as the possession limit of personal recreation is exceeded providing grounds to believe the individual is possessing such amounts for the purpose of distribution.

What if an adult is also permitted to possess medical cannabis and possesses recreational cannabis, does their possession limit go up? Yes, it does. An individual authorized to possess medical cannabis is allowed to possess, whichever is less of, a 30 day supply or 150 grams of medical cannabis AND their 30 grams for recreational cannabis (Cannabis Regulations, Sec 320(2)). All rules in regards to ensuring the cannabis is from a regulated government distribution centre and remains in the proper packaging during transport away from driver or passenger access apply.

The Fort St. John RCMP wish to remind individuals that which to possess and use cannabis that they do so responsibly. The laws and limits are designed for the protection of youth and those who share the road as drivers and passengers as well as ensure public health and reduce criminal activity.

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PJXM News is a small citizen media out of Prince George, BC. PJXM dishes out Police news from BC's Central Interior and up to the Peace Region.
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