Statistics Canada Article on Drug-Related Offences
Highlights from the article:
- Since peaking in 1991, the police-reported crime rate has decreased by half (-50%), while the police-reported rate of drug offences has increased 52% over the same period. Police reported about 109,000 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) offences in 2013, representing approximately 5% of all incidents reported by police.
- Two-thirds (67%) of all police-reported drug offences in 2013 involved cannabis. In particular, cannabis possession accounted for more than half (54%) of all police-reported drug crime.
- British Columbia recorded the highest provincial rate of drug crime in 2013. This has been the case each year since 1982, with the exception of 2012, when Saskatchewan had the highest provincial rate.
- About one-quarter (26%) of all police-reported drug crime is cleared by departmental discretion (i.e., a warning or referral to a community-based program rather than a charge), a considerably higher proportion than crime in general (8%).
- The rate of persons accused of police-reported drug offences was highest for the 18 to 24-year-old age group (1,176 per 100,000 population), followed by youth (ages 12 to 17) (741 per 100,000).
- In about half of all completed adult criminal and youth court cases that involved offences related to cannabis, the cannabis charge was the only violation. Cases involving drugs other than cannabis had a single charge in about one-quarter of cases.
- In adult criminal court, completed cases that include charges related to drugs take longer to complete than non-drug-related cases, with cases involving cannabis requiring the shortest median case length among drug-related case (105 days).
- Cases that included charges related to cannabis completed in adult criminal court were more commonly stayed or withdrawn (55%) than cases involving other types of drugs (38%).
- Of drug-related cases in completed in adult criminal court that resulted in findings of guilt, about one in three involved a sentence of custody. Cases related to drug supply involved custody about twice as frequently as cases related to drug possession, though custody was less often imposed in cases involving cannabis.