The Legalization of Marijuana is a Step Closer
On November 27, 2017, Bill C-45, the bill that would legalize marijuana/cannabis in Canada, passed its third reading in the House of Commons. It then went to the Senate where it had a first reading on November 28 and a second reading on November 30 of this year.
The most interesting changes are the removal of the 100-centimetre height limit for cannabis plants grown at home, and the commitment to regulating edibles within 12 months of the bill coming into force.” (Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, speaking in Parliament on November 24, 2017. All further quotations come from that same speech by the Minister of Health.)
The Federal Liberal government is creating the new legislation “in the interest of public health and safety.” The legal age to possess marijuana will be 18 years but each individual province and territory can raise that age limit. This bill will provide “tough new criminal sanctions for those who provide cannabis to young people [under 18 as of now] or recruit them to commit a cannabis-related offence.”
The Conservatives, such as MP Bob Saroya of Markham-Unionville, are against legalizing marijuana, calling it a dangerous drug. Their idea is to de-criminalize marijuana but not legalize it. The Conservative attempt to delay the passing of Bill C-45 failed on November 27 by a vote of 199 to 83. The NDP support the legalization of cannabis and Bill C-45. Obviously, the Liberal Party is for legalization and it appears that it will finally happen.
There are so many unknowns that it is difficult to comment on what will happen once Bill C-45 is passed. Since so many countries produce marijuana, it is difficult to keep track of the quality and lineage of each product made from marijuana or hemp for that matter. Perhaps the passing of Bill C-45 will establish more stringent parameters for the production of marijuana products. Whether that is even possible or helpful remains to be seen.
Stay tuned for further developments on Bill C-45.