Members of Canada’s Conservative Party are opposing home-growing provisions in the Liberal plan to legalize cannabis, arguing that home cultivation will make access to cannabis easier for children, the Canadian Press reports. Under the plan, Canadians would be allowed to grow up to four plants, which Conservative MP Rob Nicholson says runs counter to the policy goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors. He is urging Liberal leaders to remove the provision from the measure.
“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 said in the report. “Get rid of that whole thing. Get the plants out of people’s houses here. Nobody wants that.”
Nicholson has proposed a motion to stop the bill from a second reading until the home grow provisions are removed from the proposal; however the House has neither allowed nor denied the request.
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu expressed concerns that children could become “drug mules” in schools if individuals are allowed to grow cannabis in their homes, and suggested that “kids eat plants all the time” and would mistakenly eat the cannabis plants.
Liberal MP Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, said the current system fails to protect youth and the reforms, which limits cannabis purchases to adults 18-and-older, would make it harder for children to buy cannabis.
“It’s a fact our kids are using cannabis at a higher rate than any other country in the world, and the cannabis that they’re using, they’re getting from organized crime…they’re getting from criminals,” he said.
Previously, Canadian lawmakers have expressed concerns over the cost of the registry and enforcement measures, and what the tax rate on legal sales would be.