Drug being placed into a needle

Illegal drug use can have major negative effects. This is not only on the user but their family, friends and community. Drug education is important for children, teenagers and adults. This is why the Peel Regional Police aims to promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Types of Drugs

A drug is anything ingested or absorbed, other than food, which affects the way a person's body or mind functions.

There are three main categories of drugs:

  1. Stimulants, which excite or speed up functions of the central nervous system (e.g., caffeine, cocaine, and ecstasy).
  2. Depressants, which slow down functions of the central nervous system (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, prescription pills).
  3. Hallucinogens, which affect the senses and changes awareness and perception (e.g., LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, salvia).

Signs of Possible Drug Use

  • Drug paraphernalia (bongs, rolling papers etc.).
  • Acts secretive and isn't co-operative.
  • Changes in behaviour or personality.
  • Changes in appearance.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Depression.
  • Enlarged pupils.
  • Bloodshot eyes.

Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia is the equipment or tools someone may have in order to create, sell or use drugs.

Paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to:

  • Syringes.
  • Lighters/matches.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Burnt and bent metal spoons.
  • Pipes and bongs.
  • Glow sticks.
  • Lollypops.
  • Rolling paper/cut straws.
  • Food grinder.

Marijuana Grow Operation

Marijuana grow activities occur when this drug is illegally grown for the purpose of selling and distributing. These operations can take place in houses, apartments and empty factories. The activities make money for criminal organizations and individuals. They can also result in house fires and electrical dangers.

Signs of a marijuana grow operation:

  • Smell of marijuana (sweet, strong odour).
  • Large purchases of fertilizer, garden hoses, plastic pipes, several sized pots (used for indoor growing).
  • Rarely seeing people at home.
  • The houses' lights are set on timers and turn on and off at the same time every day.
  • Windows are covered up, especially in the basement.
  • Changes to the electrical meter or wires outside the home.
  • Messy lawn and house.

If you believe an indoor grow operation exists in your community, contact our non-emergency line or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

If you believe someone is in immediate danger call 9-1-1.

Drug Laws and Penalties

Seeking or selling illegal drugs may result in serious punishments.

Having or Seeking Drugs

Possession or Seeking of Substances

According to the Controlled Drugs Substances Act (CDSA) you can't have or seek illegal substances unless you have valid permission (i.e. medicinal purposes).


You could be found guilty in one of two types of offences:

  1. Indictable offence (more serious) resulting in imprisonment for up to seven years.
  2. Summary offence (less serious).
  • First-time offence is a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to six months.
  • For following offences, a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year.

Selling Drugs

Selling Illegal Substances

According to the CDSA you can't sell or have illegal substances for the purpose of selling.


You could be found: Guilty of an indictable offence, with the sentence depending on the amount of drugs you had.

You may also be sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of:

  • One year, if you commit the offence for criminal organizations, used/threatened to use violence, carried/used/threatened to use a weapon, or have a previous drug related conviction.
  • Two years, if the offence is committed in or within the area of a school or place that minors normally visit, or if a minor was involved in committing the crime.

Helpful Resources

There are a number of organizations that provide services to the public regarding drug education and use.

Peel Regional Police

To help promote drug awareness, we offer a variety of Crime Prevention and Youth Education programs, produce educational materials and host events in the Peel Region.


  • Region of Peel – Advise for Parents – provides free interactive lessons that help parents talk to children about drugs and alcohol.
  • Tobacco-Free Kids –promotes proven solutions that reduce tobacco use.
  • KidsHealth – educates children about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.


At-Risk or Drug Users

Contact Us