Cannabis, derivatives, its preparations, and similar synthetic preparations are classified as Schedule II controlled substances in the country. The unlawful possession of any of them is a criminal offence in Canada.
A fine of up to $1000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months is handed over for the possession of small amounts (less than 30 grams) of cannabis marijuana. The possession of larger amounts (more than 30 grams) is punishable under the Canadian law by up to five years less a day. The possession of cannabis for the purpose of export or import is punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Health Canada implemented the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) in 1999 for allowing access to marijuana to people suffering from grave or debilitating illnesses. However, the MMAR deals not with the issue of legalizing marijuana but exclusively with the medical use of marijuana. People suffering from diseases (such as spinal cord injury, cachexia, HIV/AIDS infection, seizures from epilepsy, and severe nausea from cancer) can apply to possess marijuana in Canada for medical purposes.