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Tories Want to Cut Homegrow From Canada’s Cannabis Bill

May 31, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his visit to the Italian Parliament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)
Canada’s conservative party is attacking a Liberal-supported homegrow provision in Justin Trudeau’s pending cannabis legalization bill.

As proposed, the legalization bill would allow Canadian adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. The Tories, however, argue that such a policy would give children too-easy access to cannabis, which the pending regulated market is designed to prevent.

“Is there any easier way to get marijuana than if your parents and everybody have got plants in the kitchen?” Tory justice critic Rob Nicholson, a former attorney general, asked in a speech to the House.


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“I can’t understand how the Liberals can be making this point that somehow, ‘Yes, we’re protecting our children here, and guess what? You’re only going to get four plants,’” he added, imploring Liberal members of Parliament to drop the provision.

'Kids eat plants all the time because their parents do not put them up in the cupboard,' said one Tory critic.

It wasn’t the only sharp criticism from the Tories. MP Marilyn Gladu suggested that allowing home grown cannabis would turn kids into “drug mules” at school. She also warned that children could mistakenly eat the plants.

“Kids eat plants all the time because their parents do not put them up in the cupboard,” she said.

(Eating raw cannabis, for the record, does not create the psychoactive “high” associated with THC. Mature portions of the plant must be heated to the point of decarboxylation in order to be psychoactive.)


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Liberal MP Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, defended the bill, observing that the goal of legalization is to do away with the illegal market, which provides cannabis to minors with remarkable efficiency.

“It’s a fact our kids are using cannabis at a higher rate than any other country in the world,” he said, “and the cannabis that they’re using, they’re getting from organized crime … they’re getting from criminals.”

New Democratic Party justice critic Alistair MacGregor, for his part, said that the NDP will support the Canadian government’s legalization plans on principle but that the rollout needs to be “done effectively.”

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Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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  • maxwood

    Re Mr Nicholson’s concern that children could get access to the plants: bear in mind that a majority of the health and character issues attributed to cannabis use are caused by the carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins incidental to hot burning overdose smoking– and we have vaporization techniques (including flexdrawtube oneheater, see “Make-Pipes-from-Everyday-Objects”) to solve that problem worldwide forever. Child poisoning incidents are rare and not one fatality has ever been verified as caused by the cannabis itself.

  • who cares

    Mmm Hmm. And none of the Conservative caucus members have children and booze in the cupboard. Right.

  • Turner Kayston

    Did no one there clue them in on that very fact?
    “(Eating raw cannabis, for the record, does not create the psychoactive “high” associated with THC. Mature portions of the plant must be heated to the point of decarboxylation in order to be psychoactive.)”

    Not only that, but it’s a super food to juice it and almost everyone will be juicing it in the near future… Hopefully Marilyn Gladu gets quoted for such ignorance when someone clues them in on real science.

    It’s like the blind, leading the blind…

    They’re just one of those who don’t want it in the hands of children, yet they probably have alcohol and prescription drugs in the fridge, cupboard and on the counter and table, not realising that those can kill their children and cannabis cannot.

    Besides, what if they made trees illegal tomorrow, would they think kids would chew the bark off of trees as well?

  • Robert Wright

    See politicians making the rules and they don’t even know you can’t get high from eating raw green cannabis. These idiots don’t even do the research they just make up facts to support their anti cannabis reefer madness agenda.

  • jim heffner

    Since the anti Cannabis crowd discovered the “Reefer Madness” approach to re-legalization isn’t working any more they’ve resorted to nitpicking and fanning baseless fears. When they’re not using outright lies they focus on, ‘could’, ‘might’, ‘should’ and other conditional words. They shy away from actual hard statistics and legitimate studies. The ‘end (control of the people) justifies the means’ (lying) nanny-wannabes believe that they know what we should and should not do with our thoughts and bodies. The need to control other peoples lives is destructive to freedom and a horrible addiction.

    and it harm none, do what you will

    • Jennifer J. Carter

      I couldn’t agree more Jim and others on here. Governments need to let adults decide for themselves. And kids can easily get alcohol there parents keep in the house. In fact alcohol is worse because a kid can drink a bottle versus a few leaves of pot in the same time span. That’s where I got my alcohol when I drank under age.

  • Wessty

    The current horde of CONservatives are a hopelessly backward looking group. If there is a program or policy that has failed south of the border, they consistently take it up and run with it like fools on parade.
    It’s bad enough we have to endure Prohibition 2.0 under the Liberals. Now we also have to contend with the asinine CONservatives and their commitment to the failed war on drugs.

  • gambiit08

    That reasoning is awful. It should be on the parent to keep it away from their children if they have any. It shouldn’t be the government’s job to babysit shitty parents. Plus, you can’t get high from eating a cannabis plant. You just can’t. Some of these lawmakers have no clue what they’re talking about and they’re only embarrassing themselves. They’re stupid, and they should feel bad about it.

    • Glenda

      It’s so true….I have 3 grown children who never touched a spec of what we grew or had in the kitchen. As parents your job is to raise adults and educate them!

  • Martin kaneva

    The cons can say what they like for now. The libs have a majority they don’t need the cons to pass anything at the moment.

  • Ryan Elson

    Well i dont have kids and these people can piss off. They are only doing this to secure monopoly

  • Derek M

    Why do they always have to blanket everything under organized crime and other delusional rationale? People grow for themselves, not selling a single gram forever and it hurts nobody and those people have ZERO affiliation to organized crime. They don’t even buy from any suspect hydro stores and use fully organic compost and no pesticides. The ignorance behind this is so unreal that you might as well tell people to put their booze in their gun safe after they pour a drink.. (because we are after all, alowed to posess a firearm that kills people as long as it’s locked up). Cannabis has claimed no lives only helped if anything… alcohol that’s a different story, but you can brew wine and beer in your house and store unlocked unopened bottles of booze? Ignorance is bliss may be an understatement.

  • Synchro

    A fact worth mentioning to those who don’t know – Liberal MP Bill Blair, who is defending the bill, was Chief of Police for Toronto for 10 years. This man knows a thing or two about how pointless marijuana criminal laws have been!