Article by Kate Robertson, Lift News
“Oh my god!”
For those of us who were following the March 22 vote on the Cannabis Act in the Senate online, the reaction was all we heard as senators stood to signify their support for or against the bill in its second reading. The proceedings were broadcast online, but just the audio, meaning only those in attendance could see the standing vote – and audibly react to the results.
A few very long seconds later, the news was good for Bill C-45 supporters: senators voted 44-29 in favour of the act. It has moved to the third reading – the last phase before reaching Royal Assent.
Earlier in the day, both CBC and CTV reported that because neither the Senate’s agriculture committee nor the Aboriginal peoples committee were in Ottawa, so there was a chance that the bill could be defeated or only move ahead by a slim margin.
The afternoon’s debate didn’t bode well for the Liberals, either. Senators, mostly Conservative, presented their reasons for voting against the bill, with some questioning some of its fundamentals: do Canadian teens really use cannabis more than youths in any other country? Will they really be protected by the new law? Will the black market actually struggle to thrive with this version of legalization?