Source Countries and
Drug Transit Zones: Canada
cannabis use among Canadians has doubled over the last decade. Source
Canada is both a consumer and producer of illegal drugs, especially high-potency
marijuana and synthetics. In November 2007, the Canadian Government released
its new National Anti-Drug Strategy. Coordinated by the Canadian Department
of Justice, and in partnership with Public Safety Canada and Health Canada,
the Strategy includes three action plans: preventing illicit drug use; treating
those with illicit drug dependencies; and combating the production and distribution
of illicit drugs. Internationally, Canadian law enforcement coordinates closely
with U.S. counterparts to stem the flow of narcotics into North America and
to combat transnational organized crime.
Cannabis cultivation, because of its profitability and relatively low risk,
is a thriving industry in Canada. Much of the production in Canada is in the
form of high-potency indoor-grown marijuana destined for export to the United
States. The increasing sophistication of Canadian trafficking operations was
demonstrated in the summer of 2005 when the first-ever drug smuggling tunnel
was discovered on the Washington State-British Columbia border. The increase
in marijuana production and trafficking in recent years has been mirrored by
increases in drug consumption in Canada, as revealed by the 2004 Canadian Addiction
Synthetic drugs have also become an increasing concern in Canada. Regulations
instituted in early 2003 helped to reduce the diversion of Canadian pseudoephedrine
to the production of methamphetamine in U.S. "superlabs." Despite this encouraging
progress, methamphetamine has become an increasingly serious domestic drug
problem in Canada, and the government has begun to respond through tougher
sentencing and by restricting the sale of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine
products in some provinces.
Production of MDMA (Ecstasy) has risen dramatically in Canada in recent years,
with Canada replacing the Netherlands and Belgium as the primary source of
MDMA for the U.S. market. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported
a dramatic increase in the seizure of MDMA crossing the U.S.-Canada border,
from 1.1 million dosage units in 2004 to 5.2 million dosage units in 2006.
Frequently this MDMA is mixed with other drugs, methamphetamine in particular,
creating a dangerous poly-drug combination that can cause severe health problems
Fortunately, the United States and Canada can build on an already robust counterdrug
law enforcement relationship to address these significant drug threats. U.S.
and Canadian agencies cooperate extensively through Integrated Border Enforcement
Teams (IBETs), regular meetings of the Cross-Border Crime Forum, and cooperative
arrangements between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and U.S. agencies
such as the Coast Guard, DEA, and ICE.
National Anti-Drug Strategy.
This website provides information on Canada's new strategy to reduce drug use.
Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS), Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse,
November 2004. The CAS is the first national survey dedicated to alcohol,
cannabis and other drug use since Canada 's Alcohol and Other Drugs Survey
(CADS) in 1994.
Situation in Canada, This report outlines illicit drug trafficking activity
in Canada for 2006.
Control Strategy Report, U.S. State Department, Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 2008.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are Canada's national police service.
States-Canada Border Drug Threat Assessment 2007, A joint assessment
of the cross-border trafficking threat, published in March 2008.
This CIA publication provides an overview of population, government, economy,
and geography of Canada.