Article by Dana Larsen, The Georgia Straight
The B.C. NDP passed new cannabis legalization laws on May 31, with the support of the B.C. Greens.
Unfortunately, instead of embracing the end of cannabis prohibition, the legislation generally continues the model of stigmatizing, marginalizing, and punishing cannabis users.
Here are four big problems with B.C.’s new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, and how to fix them.
Under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, you can only grow your four legal cannabis plants at home if they are hidden from public view. If someone can see your plants from the street, you face a maximum of three months in jail for the first offence, and six months the second time!
This means no growing a legal cannabis plant on your balcony or windowsill. No growing in your backyard unless you have a high fence.
What is the point of threatening to jail people over the sight of legal cannabis plants? B.C. is the only province to have this kind of “hide your plants” law. The result of this will be that cannabis-hating nosey neighbours will be stalking their streets on tippy toes with 9-1-1 on speed dial.
The NDP have been running ads to destigmatize drug users, reminding us that drug users are parents, friends, hockey fans, and so on. Yet now it has passed a law that stigmatizes cannabis users to such an extent that it criminalizes the mere sight of our homegrown plants!