In a stunning announcement December 5, the Manitoba government unveiled its plans for legalization in its provincial territory. Presently we have the Cannabis Act of Canada working its way through our political arm and into law. The act that sets forth a suggestion for plants per home for all Canadians. The suggestion came from the “federal legalization task force on cannabis” put together after the Allard trial and after the demise of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) program. This task force consisted of our top cannabis experts in the country. I believe they came out with a sound reasonable approach to legalization in Canada. The federal government of Canada stated on numerous occasions they would implement all or most of the legalization task force recommendations.
“Our government will prohibit growing cannabis at home for recreational purposes. This approach is consistent with our commitment to protect youth and also responds directly to the concerns that home-grown cannabis may be diverted to the black market,” Stefanson said.” (Global News)
This statement lends to the lack of attention and arrogance of our elected officials with respect to cannabis policy. In a recent federal constitutional court challenge known as Allard vs the Queen the safety of consuming and producing cannabis was provocatively proven to be no threat to the individual or the public at large. I would note “Stefanson” worded that statement very carefully as to not suggest fire or mold just crime from diversion to the black market. This claim was also unfounded in the federal courts of Canada.
Up until two days ago, many in the country Canada including myself were under the impression personal home growing was going to be infused into the legalization model. Though medical patients under the ACMPR can keep growing in the province of Manitoba (for now) it leaves recreational users forced to choose between cannabis they can afford and their liberty if they choose to keep supplying themselves from home.
If legalization was to stop the criminalization and marginalization of Canadian civilians I asked myself why has Canada increased penalties for cannabis cultivation and sales that are non-medical? Part of the cannabis act of Canada carries new sentences of up to two years less a day for sales and/or cultivation of cannabis. In addition to this stringent rule for criminal records checks for anybody working in the industry has become the social norm. As an advocate, this is also become concerning alarming posturing by the federal government to restrict in all capacities the ability to have personal home grows.
In present day if a person wishes to grow for medical purposes a criminal record check is requested. Patients with a cannabis criminal past should not be persecuted in the present for the medicine they wish to use to heal themselves. Moreover, it takes 10 years after your last conviction to obtain a pardon and exercise your regulatory option to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes.
“There’s also the question of whether or not one’s record could be cleared of convictions. Under Canada’s Criminal Records Act, a person with an indictable offence has to wait 10 years before being able to apply for a “record suspension” (otherwise known as a pardon). A person with a summary conviction offence must wait five years.” (CBC News)
To further my position against the flawed policy of the Manitoba government all simply point to be age restrictions imposed on cannabis versus alcohol.
“The province has decided to make 19 the legal age to purchase marijuana, one year later than the legal drinking age, which is 18.” (Global News)
Mothers against drunk driving were around long before mothers learning about cannabis was a factor or concern. Given their now named Mothers Against Drug Driving I believe 20 more years of education and advocacy is needed coupled with the science to support any concerns with respect to cannabis and driving. When we look at the pros and cons of the two we see that alcohol has a lethal death dose, alcohol is highly addictive, alcohol has destroyed lives, alcohol invites violence, finally, alcohol withdrawal can kill you. Cannabis use has no lethal death dose, no addiction, does not incite violence, nor is the withdrawal even the factor for most end-users.
With this fact-based knowledge setting an age restriction of 19 for cannabis and 18 for alcohol demonstrates the lobbyists and policymakers push for profits and not public safety as their assertions would suggest. Their justification for the age restriction is public safety and save the kids from cannabis thus the policymakers feel they need to heavily restrict and control cannabis from kids all be 18-year-olds have access to the poison.
Today’s blog is on the Manitoba proposed the regulatory reform that sets out the outlandish and overbroad age restrictions mentioned above.
“The Liquor and Gaming Authority would also be renamed the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.” (Global News)
As Canadians, we recognize our provincial-territorial regulations and rights versus federal rights and regulations. When we legalize almost regulatory reform falls to provincial authority with respect to the recreational use of cannabis. This said what stays in the control of the federal government is Health Canada’s medical cannabis program the ACMPR as well license producers to remain under federal restriction and regulation. Where the new microbreweries and dispensaries will fall is yet to be determined. The one thing that is established and has been established since April 1, 2014, is a legal supply. By this I mean who gets to sell cannabis domestically and import-export internationally. This privilege was granted to 70+ companies in present day. It’s my personal belief that all cannabis as reported on my YouTube channel and live feeds has been monopolized by powerful corporations with very influential lobbyists coupled with the political arm willing to walk the line of conflict of interest.
When political parties in Canada are working with large corporations to set up $20 million companies under the guise of medical marijuana when Canada today still holds that there is no medical value to cannabis and that it needs more research. Our nation needs to parse and ask why and what’s really going on? This said we do have a court-ordered medical program called the ACMPR and the federal injunction/restraining order in place until further order of the courts. It’s my belief that if the powers that be in our government wish to look deeper into this conspiracy they would see or maybe they already know and were just a sheepeople of the governing power being the liberals who worked in concert with large corporations to monopolize Canada into their version of legalization while continuing to lock up our brothers and sisters and no talk of repealing their sentences for past victimless cannabis crimes.
An upcoming blog I’ll discuss my concerns around home growing for all of Canada. With the announcement of the Manitoba government and five provinces moving towards liquor bureau style sales. It’s my fear each province will follow Manitoba’s lead and block recreational home growing. Then this will only leave the ACMPR with respect to who can personally grow cannabis plants. I know many will say this is how it’s been since 2001 and I would agree. This set I would point to the posturing of the provincial governments. If they’re saying and a perfectly healthy person can grow cannabis plant for fear of safety and be protecting the kids then why would they allow the continued growing by the sick and disabled of Canada? I know some you will tell me it’s a constitutional right to grow a plant. I can assure you Canadians have no constitutional right to grow plant rather a constitutional right to reasonably access cannabis for medical purposes in accordance with Rv Parker.
Less quickly look at the ACMPR from a constitutional forward-looking perspective. Personally, what I see and fear is the future removal of personal production from the ACMPR. With the known fact that it’s a regulatory option to grow in the present day because of the Allard trial, we must keep our minds open to the fact regulations can be changed and amended at any time by Health Canada.
In addition, Canada the defendant in Allard has yet to seek to undo the federal injunction/restraining order that protects 28,000+ gardens in Canada. So, let’s say in four years the federal government and these large corporations have successfully finished setting up national infrastructure. Examples would be provincial formularies that cover cannabis for patients or percentage thereof. The legal supply will start with LP, down to microbrewery, down to dispensary and out to market with tax and full control. Anyone not part of the legal supply will be deemed modern-day moonshiner’s and outlawed and what I like to call reefer madness 2.0.
These are historic times for Canada and through the judicial arm keeps rendering decisions in our favour while the political arm of government continues to dance around those decisions thereby ignoring our constitutional rights in favour of what is perceived to be profit-driven policy. I will have a lot more to say on this topic over the coming year as Canada ushers in the summer of legalization.
I’ll be writing blogs more and more which will be available here on www.cannabisincanada.net I’m interested in hearing back from the readers to help garner the best perspective, understanding and acceptance of the government’s fast-tracked legalization and corporatization of cannabis in the country Canada.