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Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition
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Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition provides a unique and cutting-edge analysis of the legal issues that commonly arise in drug prosecutions

Not just a book on drug law, Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition provides a detailed, unique, and cutting-edge analysis of all the complex legal and strategic issues that can arise in a drug case – such as a detailed examination of conspiracy law, wiretap evidence, search and seizure, police informers, property forfeiture, and criminal organizations. As the leading text in its field for almost 40 years, Drug Offences in Canada has been trusted by lawyers and judges to provide an authoritative analysis on the conduct of drug cases. This acclaimed resource has been cited across all Canadian jurisdictions and at all levels of trial and appeal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Its focused and crisp analysis enables busy professionals to quickly understand the law, procedure, and strategy. It also places all issues into their proper legal, historic, and legislative context, often positioning issues against the broader international picture. The unparalleled breadth, depth, and comprehensiveness of knowledge contained herein may help you successfully prepare for court with just one single resource.

New in this edition

Entirely rewritten and re-organized to meet the constantly evolving needs of defending and prosecuting counsel, the judiciary, and investigators, this text includes in-depth commentary and analysis on new, recent, and increasingly complex legal issues such as:

  • Medical marijuana
  • Drug-impaired driving
  • Evidentiary issues most common in drug cases
  • Criminal organization offences
  • Expanding provincial legislation dealing with asset forfeiture and gangs
  • Extensive analysis of the seven most common defences raised in drug cases, as well as the strategies that can be used to advance them most effectively

This new edition also provides a strategic blueprint on how to challenge the Crown's case with extended analysis on the following: the frailties of eyewitness identification, fingerprint evidence, disreputable witnesses relied upon by the Crown, expert witness evidence, the evidence of undercover officers, including the so-called "Mr. Big" investigative strategy, as well as a unique Internet research section found in no other criminal law text in Canada. In addition, Drug Offences, Fourth Edition welcomes Croft Michaelson, Q.C. to its author team, marking the first Canadian occasion that three barristers appointed Queen's Counsel have partnered to author a major legal textbook.

Also available as an eLooseleaf on ProView with an integrated search option for WestlawNext Canada subscribers. See all available titles at


Bruce A. MacFarlane, Q.C., a co-author of Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition, has been interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press. Read the article, "Ease of buying fentanyl online attracting lone wolves: expert” (By Katie May, 06/28/2018)

About the Author

Bruce A. MacFarlane, Q.C., is a member of the Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta Bars. He spent his early years as a federal prosecutor in all three provinces, appearing in all levels of courts, and rose to become Assistant Deputy Attorney General with responsibility for all federal prosecutions in Canada. In 1993, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Manitoba – a position he held for 12 years. Mr. MacFarlane left government in 2005, and was appointed to teach criminal law at the University of Manitoba. From 2008 to 2012, he was appointed by the United Nations as Amicus Curiae to assume conduct of several sensitive cases in an international criminal court in Europe. At present, Mr. MacFarlane provides advice to governments, law societies, and private clients on a variety of criminal law issues. Throughout his career, he has published numerous scholarly writings on criminal law and evidentiary topics, which have been cited by courts across Canada and by the highest courts in the U.K. and Australia. He is a co-author of Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law: The Legislative Framework, and of Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition, all published by Thomson Reuters.

Robert J. Frater, Q.C., is Chief General Counsel with the federal Department of Justice. He is a member of the Ontario Bar and is a past member of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut bars. Mr. Frater has argued numerous high-profile cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, and has also appeared in appellate courts in several provinces and territories. He has lectured and written on a wide variety of topics, including criminal law, constitutional law, and advocacy, and taught a Masters of Law course on prosecutorial ethics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a co-author of Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law: The Legislative Framework,Cannabis Law, Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition, and author of Prosecutorial Misconduct, Second Edition, all published by Thomson Reuters.

Croft Michaelson, Q.C., is Deputy General Counsel and Head of Global Investigations with BMO Financial Group and a member of the Ontario Bar. He was formerly Senior General Counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and a federal prosecutor from 1989 to 2019. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Michaelson prosecuted numerous high-profile cases involving drug and terrorism offences at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He frequently lectures on criminal law, drug and terrorism prosecutions, and advocacy. He is also a co-author of Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law: The Legislative Framework, and of Drug Offences in Canada, Fourth Edition, all published by Thomson Reuters.