Article by Rachel Aiello, CTV News
The House of Commons Health Committee will reconvene in Ottawa a week ahead of Parliament resuming to hold full-day hearings on the government’s marijuana legalization bill.
The committee is holding the marathon session of meetings to get a head start on its study of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act.
“It’s going to be all day… nine to five and then some,” health committee chair, Liberal MP Bill Casey, told CTV News.
The House of Commons is set to reconvene for its fall sitting the week of Sept. 18, but the committee of MPs will be back to hear witnesses starting on Sept. 11 and through Sept. 15.
“Our focus will be on the health impacts,” Casey said, though the bill does include criminal justice elements.
The details of the hearings have yet to be made public, but it’s expected the list of witnesses the committee plans to hear from will be long, and will include physicians, psychologists, marijuana producers, medical marijuana users, potential retailers, and Health Canada officials.
“We’re going to hear from as many people as we can,” Casey said.
The committee was assigned to study Bill C-45 before parliamentarians decamped for their ridings this summer. It has not held any meetings on the legislation yet, but the committee has decided that when they do, all public meetings will be televised.
The bill, once passed, would allow adults in Canada to possess and use small amounts of recreational marijuana legally. It sets out the parameters around the production, possession, safety standards, distribution, and sale of marijuana. It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors. The proposed federal law spells out that it will be illegal for anyone younger than 18 to buy pot, but is leaving it up to the provinces and territories to set a higher age.