Canadian Marijuana Laws, at a Glance

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So we are fast approaching the 1st of April. April fools day for some, New Fiscal year for others… For Medical Marijuana patients, its new rules that actually hinder and prevent them from growing their own personal supply. Now medical patients will be forced to purchase at increased rates through commercial vendors that must go through an approval process through HeLLth Canada.

Its pretty frustrating to know, as a Canadian citizen, that there has been this set of rules or policy in place since roughly 2003, to cater towards medical patients, however only to find out all the inner workings of the policy have not been established. The pieces of the bigger puzzle have not been assembled, only have the puzzle is complete, if that I might add.

In reality, a half assed-approach to establishing policy has been taken. This to me appears as a slap in the face, as it is a direct reflection of our Federal Government’s care for its citizens. There still remains grey areas surrounding the issue. There exists no guidelines or policy in place for Federal Government employees who have medical marijuana prescriptions, for where they are and are not allowed to smoke or consume cannabis while working on the job. The prime example here is Cpl Ron Francis and his story.

If the intent of the Federal government was to introduce policy to accommodate the citizens of the country, because as we all know, the government is here to SERVE its citizens and not vice versa. Then wouldn’t be nice, if they completed the policy the first time it was introduced? Having done so, there would be no room for confusion, there would only be cut and dry answers and the message would be pretty clear. Its troubling to know, that those who actually require this as medicine and have prescriptions legally, still do not have all the legal grey areas worked out and or designated smoking areas established.

Lets face it, Canada’s lack of progress on Medicinal Cannabis policy and Recreational Prohibition flat out sucks. Our neighbors to the south have made more progress than we have in the past 10 years, its quite embarrassing, and equally a shame.  I am a proud citizen of Canada, however, I am not proud of this government, nor of its decision to leave the policy up in the air as it still is.

They are changing rules without even completing the policy as a whole.How can you change laws or regulations to incomplete policy and or law? does that even make any sense at all?

Lets take a look at some penalties regarding Cannabis here, for a laugh, this info was obtained from MarijuanaLaws.ca

• Trafficking: 1-2 YEARS minimum

• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking: 1-2 YEARS minimum

• Importing/Exporting: 1 YEAR minimum

• Possession for the Purpose of Exporting: 1 YEAR minimum

• Production of 6 – 200 plants: 6 MONTHS minimum
With Health and Safety Factors: 9 MONTHS minimum

• Production of 201 – 500 plants: 1 YEAR minimum
With Health and Safety Factors: 18 MONTHS minimum

• Production of more than 500 plants: 2 YEARS minimum
With Health and Safety Factors: 3 YEARS minimum

• Production of oil or resin: 1 YEAR minimum
With Health and Safety Factors: 18 MONTHS minimum

The laws, clearly tell the reader that, Trafficking and or Importing/exporting and resin/oil production = Jail time guaranteed. What I find interesting here is, that the 6 months mandatory minimum for 6 – 200 plants is that. I am curious to know, where the law is for say 5 plants? If I grow 5 plants, am I off the hook here? Is that telling me, that 5 plants is fine for personal consumption so long as I don’t get caught, and if one got caught what could you be looking at? Would that perhaps be, say 5 plants per person, so a 2 person household could grow say 5 plants under my name, and another 5 plants under the other persons name? Either way, 5 plants for one person is a fair amount, I am just being humble here though.  Is this insinuating that, if its under 6 plants then the chances of being caught and charged are unlikely and I would have to have 6 plants to face 6 months? From that info one could formulate the bigger picture in my mind. There is still much work left to do with the Law side of Marijuana in Canada.

There is so much talk and buzz going around, about the Tories relaxing their stance on Marijuana, why might that be so? Perhaps because of the recent scandals with Senator Duffy, and perhaps Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking Crack, that came out makes them the unpopular party in the polls? So is the only way to compete against the liberals, in an effort to remain in power beyond 2015? Are they simply making a meager attempt to meet the Liberals, halfway on their legalization effort by softening the punishment by considering laying fines to Cannabis consumers? Who are they trying to appeal to with more half assed policy? Definitely not the Pot-Smokers, I can say that with certainty.

Lets face it, Canada would make much more money and actually benefit from the Cannabis industry if Cannabis was legalized outright, than from ticketing pot smokers for weed posession. So why not cut to the damn chase already? Whats the hold up? We can lead by example, but the Tories would rather sit on the way side and take tips from their Crack-smoking Mayor about decriminalization than take action. The Tories.. Ugh I dont even like using or saying that word, the Conservatives are coming off a bit lazy and well fashionably late with the times.

Canada needs and deserves a system, partisan-Free, simply so no bias can influence/infiltrate one party or another through lobbying and bribes or other creative means.. so we need in effect a bullet proof system. I don’t have that solution yet, but I can feel it brewing.

My solution to the Duffy Scandal is this, (because I try not to rant and rave without providing a solution) accountability. If one party is found guilty of acquiring money through illegal means or by misguided spending of tax payers money, then the person(s) convicted of the crime, not only have to pay back all the money back to Canadian Citizens, but, the same amount of money stolen or misused is removed from that members local and federal budget the following year, and that person shall be banished from Canadian politics until his/hers  life concludes by burial or cremation.. This may not even be enough, however it is at least in the right direction to making those who commit crimes in higher places than the average citizen, to be held  accountable for their actions.  Maybe if they are held to a higher standard then they would think twice before trying to screw us over?

When will we have had enough of these half assed measures? Don’t we deserve more? We can do better. I am not usually one for siding with political groups, but I hope whoever takes office next be it the liberals, follow through with outright legalization and put an end to this mess that has caused much embarrassment on an international level. The time is NOW.

-THC

**NOTE**

To my readers, I may have come off a bit “negative” in the above. It was not my intention come off this, way, think of it as sheer frustration as a citizen. I am trying to put into full perspective the situation at hand. 2013 was a big year for Canada in terms of negative spotlight with the Mike Duffy scandal and Mayor Rob Ford’s crack scandal. Lets hope that 2014 brings better direction with regards to Cannabis policy in Canada.  Namaste to all my readers and followers.

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