Food and Drugs Act (Can.) supported inclusive interpretation of definition of “drug”

Ontario criminal | Drug offences

General

Food and Drugs Act (Can.) supported inclusive interpretation of definition of “drug”

Between March 2008 and January 2010, accused marketed and sold products that contained 1-Benzyl-Piperazine (“BZP”), substance similar to amphetamine. During that time, BZP was not listed under any schedule in Food and Drugs Act (Can.) (“FDA”) or Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Can.). Health Canada warned accused that it considered BZP to be drug, and requested that he apply for necessary approvals and licences. Accused was eventually charged with regulatory offences under FDA and regulations. Accused’s application for directed verdict was dismissed. Accused was convicted. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Definition of “drug” in FDA applies to all substances manufactured, sold, or represented for use in modifying organic functions, regardless of whether substance is intended for medicinal, therapeutic or recreational use. Legislative history and relevant Hansard evidence suggested that intention of legislature was that definition of “drug” would extend beyond merely therapeutic or medicinal uses. Greater statutory context and its legislative history did not support accused’s restrictive interpretation. FDA supported inclusive, rather than restrictive interpretation of definition of “drug”. BZP was advertised as preventing addiction to other more harmful substances, and statement fell squarely within offence set out in s. 3 of FDA.
R. v. Wookey (Aug. 5, 2016, Ont. C.A., E.E. Gillese J.A., David Watt J.A., and M. Tulloch J.A., CA C58019) Decision at 105 W.C.B. (2d) 94 was affirmed. 132 W.C.B. (2d) 336.

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Criminal lawyers wary of sharing contact tracing with law enforcement

LSO should pay $46K to lawyer, tribunal says

Tribunal finds that spilling tea while stopped at a red light is not an automobile accident

Workplace safety tribunal shares best practices for teleconference hearings

Law foundation approves grants for investor rights projects of UToronto Law, Osgoode and others

Ontario Bar Association hosts free online information sessions on elder law for Seniors’ Month

Most Read Articles

List of resources for lawyers on how to be an ally to racialized colleagues

LSO should pay $46K to lawyer, tribunal says

Canadian Association of Black Lawyers to host mental health webinar

Criminal lawyers wary of sharing contact tracing with law enforcement