Cannabis Act

An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.

The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

The Act

(a) establishes criminal prohibitions such as the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis, including its sale or distribution to young persons, and the unlawful possession, production, importation and exportation of cannabis;

(b) enables the Minister to authorize the possession, production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis, as well as to suspend, amend or revoke those authorizations when warranted;

(c) authorizes persons to possess, sell or distribute cannabis if they are authorized to sell cannabis under a provincial Act that contains certain legislative measures;

(d) prohibits any promotion, packaging and labelling of cannabis that could be appealing to young persons or encourage its consumption, while allowing consumers to have access to information with which they can make informed decisions about the consumption of cannabis;

(e) provides for inspection powers, the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties and the ability to commence proceedings for certain offences by means of a ticket;

(f) includes mechanisms to deal with seized cannabis and other property;

(g) authorizes the Minister to make orders in relation to matters such as product recalls, the provision of information, the conduct of tests or studies, and the taking of measures to prevent non-compliance with the Act;

(h) permits the establishment of a cannabis tracking system for the purposes of the enforcement and administration of the Act;

(i) authorizes the Minister to fix, by order, fees related to the administration of the Act; and

(j) authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting such matters as quality, testing, composition, packaging and labelling of cannabis, security clearances and the collection and disclosure of information in respect of cannabis as well as to make regulations exempting certain persons or classes of cannabis from the application of the Act.

This enactment also amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to, among other things, increase the maximum penalties for certain offences and to authorize the Minister to engage persons having technical or specialized knowledge to provide advice. It repeals item 1 of Schedule II and makes consequential amendments to that Act as the result of that repeal.

In addition, it repeals Part XII.‍1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with instruments and literature for illicit drug use, and makes consequential amendments to that Act.

It amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in federally regulated places and conveyances.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 18, 2018 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 27, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 27, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (recommittal to a committee)
Nov. 21, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
June 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
June 8, 2017 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (reasoned amendment)
June 6, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, quite frankly, I am rather perplexed by the member's comments. The member may recall that Bill C-45 passed second reading and went to committee. That committee heard from over 100 witnesses, over the course of a very long and concentrated session of testimony, before reporting back to the House. It made a number of amendments and recommendations to the House, which were adopted. We moved forward to third reading, and then it went to the Senate.

This is an issue that has been examined extensively for over 50 years. When we became government, we formed a task force with expertise from the areas of justice, public safety, public health, and problematic substance use. We sent it across the country. It received over 30,000 submissions from Canadians on this issue. There were over 700 written submissions. It conducted dozens of round tables and town halls across the country, gathering information before it made recommendations to the government. Therefore, this has been perhaps one of the most consulted and collaborative processes ever undertaken by a government.

We are grateful for the important work done by the Senate. It has contributed enormously to this discussion. However, we believe we have a well-informed evidence-based policy framework for the strict regulation of cannabis, and we are prepared to move forward on it.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Madam Speaker, in the past, the city I represent has had problems with gangs, whether it is street gangs or motorcycle gangs, and a lot of that is around the control of drugs generally and cannabis specifically. That has been an issue in the community I and the city I represent.

Could the member speak from his experience as a police chief of Toronto about similar situations in Toronto?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his observation, and I have exactly the same observation in my town. We saw many instances.

Cannabis, the drug itself, has never killed anybody, but I have been to far too many crime scenes where people, usually young men, have been shot to death in a dispute over the territory in which this drug is being sold. Cannabis trafficking, particularly among street gangs, is a trap for those kids, and it is a dangerous trap.

We have seen far too much violence in our communities directly related to this illicit activity. Displacing that from our communities, giving Canadian consumers a legitimate choice, instead of going into those underprivileged areas, could have the affect of reducing the violence in those activities. Just as important, we will not have enforcement in those communities for simple possession of cannabis because we are changing that system. The very first criminal charge that most of those young kids get is for possession of cannabis. This starts them on a lifelong path where they are labelled as criminals. It limits their opportunities and really restricts their future.

There is an opportunity to do it better on behalf of those kids, to make it safer for them, but also to create better futures.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the chief of police of Edmonton have stated very recently that they do not have a reliable way to measure pot impairment for driving.

Again, why are we rushing ahead with this, when the Chiefs of Police Association and various other chiefs of police say that there is no reliable way to measure pot impairment for drivers.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to advise the member that president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as the chair of the law amendments committee and the traffic committee, appeared before the justice committee on Bill C-46, the impaired driving bill. They commended the government for the comprehensive legislation that was brought forward. It responded to their concerns.

In 2008, they asked for money to train drug addiction experts; they were ignored. In 2009, they asked for mandatory breathe screening; they were ignored. In 2013, they asked for access to oral fluid test kits; they were ignored.

We said that we would provide them with access to those resources and that training and give them the legislative authority to use them. The very last comment from the president of the CACP was that this government was listening.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Madam Speaker, one of the things we hear coming out of Colorado, and I read the news media and we can take it for what it is, is that about 50% of production, marketing and selling is still done by the criminal side.

Colorado is finding the same thing around pricing of contraband cigarettes, and in Canada we have a huge share of the market in contraband cigarettes. The government talks about taking it out of the hands of criminals, but then I read that Colorado says that 50% is still handled by the criminal element in the market, that they can cut prices and sell it as they choose, all outside of government control.

Taking it out of the hands of the criminal element does not seem to be working in Colorado. How is it going to be different here?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, quite frankly, if organized crime in this country is making $8 billion a year, and if in the first year we are successfully taking 50% away from them, $4 billion out of the hands of organized crime, that is a darn good start in my opinion.

Once we give Canadian adult consumers a legitimate choice, a safer, healthier choice, coupled with the fact that we are keeping all of the criminal authorities, penalties, and offences in place so the police can deal effectively with organized crime, we are going to put pressure on it in the enforcement while outflanking it with a new competition in the marketplace.

Ultimately, our goal is to completely displace the criminal element. I have fought organized crime most of my life and if I had the opportunity to take $4 billion out of its pockets in a single year, I would take it.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, today I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Provencher.

I am here today to speak against Bill C-45 and its legalization of cannabis. This bill is supposedly intended to protect youth, regulate the industry, and eliminate the black market. Not only would it not do any of those things, it would also prevent Canada from upholding several of our international treaties, something very dear to me as a former diplomat, and would likely cause additional tension with provincial governments.

Doctors and other medical professionals have found that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25 and that marijuana use before that age will actually increase an individual's risk of developing mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, by up to 30%. For this reason, one of the principal intentions of this bill was to keep marijuana out of the hands of children. This legislation would be unsuccessful in that regard for two reasons.

The first reason is that the legislation would allow possession for minors, children aged 12 to 17. I have a son who is seven years old, and the thought that he would be able to possess cannabis five years from now is terrifying to me. They would be allowed to possess up to five grams of marijuana, which is approximately 10 to 15 joints. There is also no provision to prevent them from selling or distributing cannabis to other 12- to 17-year-olds. The amount minors are allowed to possess should be zero so that we can send the right message on the dangers for youth. Youth should not be using it and therefore should not be allowed to carry it. Again, the thought of this being anywhere near my young son frightens me.

The second reason is that this bill would also set the age of 18 as the federal minimum. The Canadian Medical Association and other medical professionals recommend increasing the age at which a person can legally consume marijuana to at least 21. Although under the age of 21 there is potential for mental disorders, as previously mentioned, they also recognize that if the age is set too high, people will continue illegal consumption.

If we want to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, 18 is too young an age. Typically, 16- and 17-year-olds hang out with 18-year-olds. The majority of us in the House have certainly been to secondary school.

Another goal of this legislation was to help eliminate the black market for marijuana. Having worked in Central America and Latin America, the black market for narcotics is very well known to me and concerns me very much.

This is extremely unlikely to happen, because it is dependent on many factors. Factors such as pricing, distribution, production, and packaging are not included in this bill. They are, rather, left to the provinces to legislate. Additionally, allowing people to grow marijuana at home would only increase the size of the black market, as Canadians would be permitted to grow yields of up to 600 grams in their homes. Such a large amount of marijuana can easily lead to trafficking and make it extensively harder to enforce.

We heard this from Joanne Crampton, the assistant commissioner for federal policing criminal operations in the RCMP, who stated:

organized crime is a high priority for federal policing, in particular, for the RCMP. We target the highest echelon within the organized crime world. We're very cognizant...and realize that the chances of organized crime being eliminated in the cannabis market would be.... It's probably naive to think that could happen.

She said it is “probably naive”. This is yet another goal of this legislation that would not be achieved.

This legislation is also being rushed through Parliament without necessary debate or consultation. We have heard repeatedly from municipal and provincial governments that they will not have the necessary time or resources to adequately respond to the impact Bill C-45 would have on both Canadians and our communities.

There are numerous organizations and associations that have asked to push back the arbitrary deadline. For example, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police asked the government to extend the deadline. I think “asking” is a subtle word. I would say that “begging” would be more appropriate.

Over 68,000 police officers in Canada will need specific training in the wake of this monumental legislative change, and a few months is not a realistic time frame within which we can do this. If police are not prepared to deal with the legalization of marijuana due to inadequate training, this may lead to poor decisions and result in bad case law for any new legislation. This is important, because law is based upon precedent, and we are going into a time when these precedents will be set for the future.

We need our law enforcement in Canada to have the proper ability and resources to uphold the law. Police will require final legislation from all levels of government before being able to begin their planning and training. The government should have provided police forces with clearer direction in this regard. Provinces, municipalities, police forces, and our indigenous communities have made it clear that they are not ready to implement this legislation and that more time would have allowed for adequate consultation to develop a successful framework.

There will also be major international implications from implementing this legislation. The legalization of marijuana does not comply with three United Nations treaties: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Might I add, as a former diplomat, that I cannot see how this could not possibly affect the Vienna Convention as well in regard to consular matters.

We also know that this could cause additional tension with our southern neighbours, the United States. Officials at United States' border crossings have been asking individuals whether they have consumed marijuana, and if the response is yes, these individuals have been denied entry by our next-door neighbour. This will be problematic when individuals' legal marijuana use in Canada results in their consistently being denied entry into the United States.

At the health committee, we heard that the former mayor of Grand Forks, Brian Taylor, was barred from going back to the United States due to a “relationship with marijuana”. A relationship: those are pretty strong words.

By the way, Grand Forks is a beautiful place. I went there as part of my honeymoon. I loved it there. It sits near a river. There is a presidential museum there, which we had the opportunity to visit.

Getting back to the bill, not having a solution to this problem may cause additional tension in the context of already hostile NAFTA negotiations. This is a serious issue that is still unresolved.

This legislation is also likely to cause jurisdictional problems here at home. Quebec and Manitoba have taken a strong stance against home grown marijuana, but the government will force all provinces to allow home growth, contrary to a unanimous amendment from the Senate.

Provincial governments will bear much of the burden of this legislation when it comes to regulations on distribution, production, and enforcement, so it is only fair that they have discretion in this area. This is yet another case of the federal government forcing its policies on provincial governments, much like it is trying to do with the carbon tax. It is very similar indeed.

The bill is extremely worrisome, as it contains some major issues. The Standing Committee on Health heard from many witnesses on Bill C-45, and the government keeps failing to implement their recommendations. These concerns are from respectable establishments, such as the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Some significant and well-known organizations in the nation are saying that they are not ready, that this legislation is not ready, and that they require more time.

I always say that we will be the official opposition that holds this legislation to account through enforcement, through distribution, and through education.

If my Liberal colleagues across the floor truly cared about the well-being of Canadians, they would not be putting this legislation forward in its current form. We need to stand up for the safety of all Canadians and vote against Bill C-45.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I worked on organized crime investigations for many years. I also chaired the national Organized Crime Committee and served on the national executive committee of the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada. I have been called many things, but never naive.

The member expressed her concern about the safety of Canadians, and I share that concern. In the bill we brought forward to deal with impaired driving, there is a thing called mandatory alcohol screening. At one point, the Conservatives voted unanimously in support of it when it was contained in a private member's bill, and then they voted unanimously against it when it was in a government bill. It will likely come back before the House. The evidence with respect to that measure is overwhelming. Mandatory screening could prevent between 25% and 35% of lives lost to impaired driving.

I wonder if the member might comment on her position with respect to that in as much as she has expressed her concern about the safety of Canadians.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, I really like apples, and I really like oranges. However, I do not think one can compare apples to oranges. I think that is what my colleague across the way is trying to do, compare apples to oranges.

The reality is that there is no mechanism right now by which enforcement can effectively determine impairment. This is determined. We want to ensure that all organizations and all aspects of society are prepared for this. Right now, this is simply not the case.

This is what we are asking for. We are asking for more time to not only better evaluate this bill but for the municipalities and provinces that have responsibility for enforcement organizations to be prepared for this.

How do they like them apples?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, there is one other issue I want to address.

The member indicated that she believes that the police services have said that they are not ready. I want to share with her that the leadership of the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Sûreté du Québec, and the Toronto Police Service, which represent about 65% of all police officers in this country, have said that they are ready.

I have read the newspapers as well. There are individual chiefs who, on the cusp of retirement, have said that they do not think they can be ready. However, when the largest police services in the country, which are dealing with the most complex national issues anywhere, have said that they are ready to go and have that level of readiness, I think we should respect that leadership and their indications.

If the member has spoken to a couple of individuals who do not think they are ready, then perhaps we could just refer them to the leadership of the RCMP, the OPP, the Toronto police, and others.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, what would happen if we let 35% of criminals out of the prisons? What would happen if we let 35% of people drive drunk? Thirty-five per cent is too much.

We need 100% readiness, 100% confidence from our forces across the nation that they are ready to deal with the implementation of this legislation. Sixty-five per cent is not enough, and I point to the examples I just gave. It is not enough. This legislation would have such a monumental impact on the safety and well-being of Canadians that 65% is not enough. Canadians and our forces must be 100% ready.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Madam Speaker, as a former principal, students having alcohol in a high school was something we really did not allow. However, under this legislation, those youth in high school would have it.

The member has very large concerns about youth and possession. Would she like to make a statement about youth and possession?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned, I have a young son. He is seven years old, and the thought that he could possess any amount of marijuana, never mind the amount outlined in this bill, within five years is terrifying to me. I like to think that I am a good parent in the sense that we would have conversations about the things that exist out there in the school and in the friend environment. However, the reality is that there could be other children his age who have possession of this substance and are distributing it at school.

This is something that very much concerns me as a parent, and as my hon. colleague pointed out, is something that is and should be of concern for educators as well.

It just shows again how—

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak this afternoon on Bill C-45, an Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts. Bill C-45 was first introduced in this place on April 13, 2017, just over a year ago. It is remarkable that the Liberal government, in just a little over a year, is desperately trying to force this proposal through. Although there has been a great deal of work done around the bill, it is abundantly clear that this has happened far too quickly. The Liberals are rushing through this legislation to meet their political deadline, not a well-thought-through plan, but a deadline that is self-imposed. This is despite very serious concerns that were raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials.

I want to note from the outset that I do not support the legalization of marijuana. The Conservative Party has adopted a much more measured and responsible approach to keeping minor marijuana possession illegal, but to make it a ticketable offence. This is the position that has long been adopted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Unfortunately, Liberal backbenchers appear willing to support the Prime Minister's dangerous proposal. I believe we have a moral responsibility to soberly consider the consequences of legalizing marijuana in so many areas of Canadian life.

The fact that the Liberals are continuing down this reckless road without having a fully fleshed-out legal framework in place for the significant supplementary conditions is irresponsible. The only appropriate way to move forward with a bill of this scope, if that is truly what the Liberals wish to do, is to move cautiously and carefully. Anything less represents a profound failure to ensuring that these changes do not increase risks to Canadian children and families.

It is the primary duty of any government to keep its citizens safe. The specific goals of Bill C-45 are outlined in clause 7, and they include protecting youth, regulating the industry, and eliminating the black market. The problem is that Bill C-45 will accomplish none of these goals. I will focus for the most part on my concerns around protecting our youth.

Mr. Marco Vasquez, a former police chief in the town of Erie, Colorado, had this to say to the Standing Committee on Health:

When you increase availability, decrease perception of risk, and increase the public acceptance of any commodity, you will see increased use. Once we see that increased use, it's very difficult to keep marijuana out of the hands of our youth. We know from validated studies that marijuana use for youth under 30 years old, especially chronic use, can have an adverse effect on brain development. We also know that one in six youth become addicted to marijuana.

We've certainly seen an increased use of marijuana in Colorado, and I believe that the increased use will ultimately increase disorder and risk factors for our youth. We're already seeing signs of increased disorder within our communities.

Dr. Laurent Marcoux, president of the Canadian Medical Association also noted:

Children and youth are especially at risk of harm, given their brain's development. And they are among the highest users of cannabis in Canada.

To better protect this part of the population, we are recommending that the age of legalization be set at 21 years. The quantities and the potency of cannabis should also be more restricted to those under age 25.

Despite these increased risks, however, evidence shows that youth today do not believe cannabis has serious health effects. A comprehensive public health strategy for cannabis must therefore include education, similar to what has been done with tobacco.

Educational strategies should be implemented before, and no later than the enactment of any legislation in order to increase awareness of the harms and to conduct further research on its impact.

These are just a couple of the comments on the matter of youth consumption of cannabis. Currently, Bill C-45 recommends the age of 18 as a federal minimum, but medical professionals have testified that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. Increased use before the age of 25 increases one's risk of developing mental disorders like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety by up to 30%, compared to those who have not used marijuana under the age of 25. This is why the CMA and the other medical professionals recommended raising the age at which a person can consume marijuana to at least age 21.

Another challenge with the bill is that children ages 12 to 17 are able to possess up to five grams of marijuana. As the points I have just raised will underscore, this is ridiculous in light of the medical evidence of the harm it can cause to youth. Bill C-45 offers no provision to prevent them from selling or distributing cannabis to other 12- to 17-year-olds.

I turn now to the home grow provisions included in this bill. Bill C-45 would allow four plants per dwelling, with no height restriction on the plants. If grown in optimal conditions, this could yield as much as 600 grams of marijuana. What we heard from plenty of testimony at the health committee is that there is a great deal of apprehension around home grow. These concerns were raised by most medical groups and police forces who appeared.

For one thing, this proposal absolutely would not keep marijuana out of the hands of youth. If it is in the home, youth will have access to it. Furthermore, there is no requirement to lock up the marijuana if the home has people under the age of 18 living in it, or even just frequenting it. What we have seen in other jurisdictions is that by legalizing homegrown marijuana, that area has been hugely penetrated by organized crime. This is why the State of Washington, for example, does not allow home grow, except for medically fragile persons who cannot get to a dispensary. It has been able to reduce organized crime to less than 20% of the market.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told the health committee:

We are deluding ourselves if we think that major drug trafficking organizations will not exploit every chance they get to have a way to be legitimized through the legal market. We're seeing this in other states. We're also deluding ourselves to think that they will go away and not try to undercut the government price of cannabis. The economies rule the day here in terms of price. The lower the drug price, the more likely someone is to use, and the illegal market can easily undercut the legal market.

I want to speak for a moment about my province of Manitoba as well. The Government of Manitoba made a responsible decision to prohibit home grow in the province. This decision will cut out more of the black market and better protect children. Unfortunately, the Liberals appear poised to reject an amendment that would confirm the ability of provinces to make these sorts of localized decisions within their own territories. Quebec and Nunavut have also expressed a desire to take similar steps in their respective legislatures.

The Liberal government has thrown a lot at the provinces and territories with Bill C-45, and to reject an amendment that would help provinces better manage this transition to legal marijuana would indicate a significant lack of judgment. I hope that the Liberals will make the right choice and help provinces make the best decisions possible for their residents.

My wife is a very good cook and baker, and when she bakes a batch of cookies or cakes or brownies, not cannabis brownies, but real brownies made with cocoa, she does not put them on the counter thinking that they are not available to children. With the legislation before us, we are going to see home grow marijuana readily available to youth in kitchens, living rooms, family rooms, and dens. The ill-conceived and poorly thought-out plan of legalizing home grow operations makes one of the Liberals' priorities, which is protecting youth, completely unattainable, because it is going to be easily accessible.

When I get a prescription for pain medication after surgery, I do not take that prescription and leave it lying on the counter where it is easily accessible to children, for example, in the sunlight where it can grow. I put that prescription in the cabinet where it is inaccessible to children.

We tell children not to play with matches. We do not keep matches within the reach of children, yet we are going to have homegrown marijuana within the reach of our youth and children. We are absolutely going to be inviting them to play with this dangerous chemical.

It is irresponsible for the government to think it is reaching this objective of protecting our youth by allowing home grow operations to be legitimate and forcing the provinces to agree. It talks about provinces having the ability to set their own regulations, and indeed some of them have. I compliment my Manitoba government for establishing stricter regulations as far as the age by which possession and use will be accepted. However, not allowing the provinces to establish restrictions on home grow is irresponsible.