There is an aspect of Bill C-45, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana that is not widely known.
The bill, now before the Senate, specifically permits 12 to 18-year-olds to have access to and share (distribute) up to 5 grams (10 joints) of marijuana.
This is surprising since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said that one of the main purposes of the bill is to keep marijuana out of the hands of children.
Similarly, the purpose of the bill states in section (7) as follows:
- Protect the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis
- Protect young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis;
The Liberal Party website also states that one of the purposes of legalizing marijuana is to ensure marijuana is kept out of the hands of children.
These statements are puzzling because they are directly contradicted by the following provisions of Bill C-45:
Section 2 defines young person as an individual who is “between 12-18 years of age.”
Section 8 (1) (c) of the bill provides: that a young person may possess 5 grams of marijuana (or ten joints).
Section 9 (1) (b) provides: that a young person may distribute up to 5 grams of marijuana (or ten joints).
Section 12 (4) (b) provides: that private homes may grow up to 4 marijuana plants without legal sanction.
Consequently, the bill provides that individuals between 12 to 18 years of age may freely possess, use, and even share marijuana up to 5 grams at a time (10 joints). There is absolutely no recourse if a minor is seen carrying, using, or handing out marijuana. A child can literally take ten joints from his parents’ stash, hand it out to his friends, go back home, take another ten, hand them out and keep doing it as often as he wants. This will deeply affect school environments and our neighbourhoods.
The harms caused by marijuana are listed on the website of Health Canada. The Canadian Medical Association, the Quebec Association of Psychiatrists, and Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario have warned that the human brain continues to develop until 25 years of age and marijuana use gravely stunts the development of adolescents.
Although the legalization of marijuana began as a political or ideological issue in the Liberal Party’s 2015 platform, it has developed into an incredible profit-making industry, which has overtaken the dialogue on the issue.
In short, the role of money is now central to the spread of marijuana legalization. As a result, pro-marijuana propaganda is flooding the country to indoctrinate and habituate the public to use marijuana which will be for the financial benefit of governments on the federal and provincial levels, as well as to the marijuana industry.
Although the provinces reached a deal in December 2017 with the federal government to keep the price of marijuana low to drive out the illegal black market, this is not going to happen. Police, experts and experience all indicate that the black market always undercuts legal marijuana sales. For example the black market has not gone away in Colorado, Oregon or Washington State since marijuana was legalized there for its recreational use. Keeping down marijuana sales by criminals is a fantasy.
The future is not very bright for society when the main consideration for pushing the legalization of marijuana is centred on the amount of taxes it will bring in for the federal and provincial governments and for the profit of marijuana entrepreneurs. Little wonder our young people between 12 and 18 years of age have been lost in the shuffle.
March 3, 2018