Tonight I voted against the passage of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act.
I did so for four main reasons:
1.) Bill C-45 sets the age of majority, for the purposes of cannabis consumption, at 18 years of age. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, use of marijuana among young people is strongly linked to the presence of mental illness, including depression, anxiety and psychosis; impaired neurological development and cognitive decline; and diminished school performance and lifetime achievement.
2.) The proposed legislation doesn’t protect children from accessing marijuana, it actually encourages it. Young people between the ages of 12 and 17 caught with fewer than 5 grams in possession will not be prosecuted, thereby giving permission to adolescence to use marijuana.
3.) The government is rushing this legislation in order to meet their arbitrary deadline of July 1, 2018. This puts provinces, municipalities and businesses in a very precarious situation, as they have to hustle to put laws, by-laws, and policies in place. Not to mention, this process is pricey!
4.) Authorities do not have the ability to accurately test for impairment. This poses a significant public health risk when it comes to safety on the road and in the workplace.
If this government is serious about the legalization of marijuana it must do more to address these serious concerns. There’s no need to rush. If the government is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of Canadians, they need to halt and make the necessary changes.