Drug Use and Offending

Q6. How many drug offences were reported by the police in 2000?

There were 87,945 actual offences reported which accounted for almost 4% of all offences reported by the police in 2000 (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Survey 2000, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics).

Majority of drug offences are possession

The majority of drug offences (62%) reported by the police were for possession, while 25% were related to drug trafficking[5]. The remaining 13% consisted of drug importation and drug production offences (see Appendix B, Table 4 for more information). This has remained consistent with the numbers reported in 1998.

Drug possession rate is higher

Drug offence rates also varied per offence type. For instance, the drug possession rate was almost 3 times higher than the drug trafficking rate (178 versus 70 per 100,000 population), and almost 5 times higher than the drug importation/production (178 versus 38 per 100,000 population) (see Appendix B, Table 4 for more information).

Cannabis is the most prevalent drug

Overall, three-quarters of all drug offences involved cannabis, 15% involved cocaine, 9% involved other drugs, 1.4% involved heroin and less than 1% involved restricted and controlled drugs. This is consistent with drug consumption patterns examined earlier in Question 2 (see Appendix B, Table 5 for more information).

Different drug types for different offence types

Eight-in-ten (83%) possession offences reported by the police involved cannabis while one-in-ten (9%) involved cocaine. Heroin comprised 1% of all drug possession charges reported by the police.

Drug trafficking offences showed different patterns according to the drug type reported. One-in-two trafficking offences involved cannabis while 35% involved cocaine and 13% involved other drugs. Heroin (3%) and restricted and controlled drugs (1%) trafficking offences were reported in a considerably lower proportion.

The majority of importation/production offences involved cannabis (87%). One-in-ten (9%) importation offences involved other drugs, 3% involved cocaine and less than 1% involved heroin (see Appendix B, Table 5 for more information).

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