Written by Xavier Menard for The Province.
The federal Liberals shut down an NDP motion decriminalizing cannabis ahead of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s highly expected legalization program. Liberal MP Bill Blair says decriminalization would “create opportunities for organized crime and put our children at risk.’’ Moreover, Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould doesn’t want to fund the profits of organized crime and wants to make sure that Canadians buy marijuana of controlled potency and quality, confirming the concerns of many about the highly corporate portrait that is drawing itself.
Indeed, it’s almost impossible to enter the production market with less than a million dollars, as rules and security measures imposed by the act supervising the production and the distribution of medical marijuana, the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, are very strict. But since last February, in Allard et al v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, the Federal Court ruled that patients should have the right to grow their own medical marijuana. Indeed, the MMPR’s prevention to do so unjustifiably infringed liberty and security of the patients’ interests pursuant to Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the entire act was declared invalid. To hopeful activists, this decision might have triggered a change in culture and push for a freer marijuana market.
Facts suggest that this excitement is unjustified. Now, more and more people have been asking for decriminalization of possession of marijuana, like former PM Jean Chrétien, because, “it’s the modern thing to do.” Yet Trudeau doesn’t give in; decriminalization is not the solution. And with recent raids on Toronto pot dispensaries, we know that municipalities agree with him and are willing to support him, for now.