Except for some cases of medical use, marijuana remains illegal everywhere in Canada, as of 2015, explains The Canadian Bar Association. The Liberal government, elected in October 2015, intends to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Police in Canada may charge those found in possession of marijuana, and penalties include a fine of up to $1000 or six months in jail for first offenses of possession under 30 grams, explains The Canadian Bar Association. However, penalties for first offenses are generally much less. Police may also pursue trafficking charges against those found in possession of larger amounts of marijuana.
Enforcement of marijuana laws in Canada varies depending on the attitude of the local authorities. For instance, in Vancouver, many marijuana dispensaries operate openly under the guise of medical marijuana laws, and on-staff naturopaths give marijuana prescriptions to anyone who applies. Technically, storefront marijuana dispensaries remain illegal even for medical purposes, states Health Canada, which instead requires those with marijuana prescriptions to order from licensed distributors.
After the Liberal Party victory in the 2015 election, publicly-traded medical marijuana stocks surged. In November 2015, 30 percent of Canadian poll respondents said they would use recreational marijuana once it is legalized, reports CBC News.