Molis was charged for trafficking a restricted drug (MDMA) contrary to s.42(1) of the federal Food and Drugs Act (now s.5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act). When he began producing chemicals MDMA was not on the list of restricted substances; however it was added a few months prior to his arrest. This change was published in the Canada Gazette.
- Is this ignorance of the law a defence, because it was not in the Code and only in a statute?
Lamer, writing for the court, states that ignorance of Molis as to the state of the statute and regulations provides no defence, as anything published in the Canada Gazette is readily available to the public. He states that offences of absolute liability that are only established in regulations might be exceptions from s.19.
Ignorance of any laws that are contained in statutes, or revisions thereof that are contained in the Canada Gazette, do not constitute a defence.