Article by David Brown, Lift News
The government’s legalization bill, the Cannabis Act, will be the topic of discussion at a special week-long health committee hearing starting next Monday, Sept 11. The House Standing Committee is where review of every aspect of the bill will occur, outside of the debate of the often raucous form of debate and grandstanding in the House.
The Standing Committee on Health, which generally only sits a handful of times a month and a few hours at time, has laid aside a full week, Sept 11-15, for discussion of the 131 page bill, divided up into 13 topics to be broken into two or four hour blocks to carefully review details of the bill and report back to the House with their findings. There will be 96 witnesses in total, plus the ministers of health, justice and public safety. The committee is expected to send the bill back to the House the following week, although no formal time limit is set.
The thirteen categories to be discussed in these full-day meetings will be Federal – Provincial and Territorial responsibilities, Justice and public safety, Other jurisdictions’ experiences, Household cultivation of plants, Age for legal possession and impact on young Canadians, Prevention, treatment, and low risk use, Workplace safety, Indigenous Communities, Labelling and packaging, Edible products, Medicinal marijuana, and Municipalities, International considerations.
Committee member Bill Casey said last June that there is no limit on time or witnesses, but other members question the timing of the meeting, one week before the House is scheduled to return, and have accused the Liberals of trying to push this through. The house is scheduled to return Sept 18.
Expert witnesses will be appearing to discuss different aspects of the bill and answer questions from the committee. The committee also receive feedback via publicly submitted briefs. Witnesses and briefs come from public and private stakeholders, academics, lobbyists, members of the government and more. You can read several currently posted online here.