Article by Patrick Cain, Global News
At least on paper, sharing a joint with a 17-year-old can bring a sentence of up to 14 years after legalization.
But an amendment passed Monday by a Senate committee, which could make its way into the final law, carves out two major exceptions in which adults can share marijuana with minors. The change will protect:
- Someone 18 years of age or older, who gives the pot to someone less than two years younger than they are
- A parent or guardian who gives it to someone who is at least 16, but only in their home
The change, proposed by Nova Scotia independent senator Wanda Bernard, was passed on a 7-5 party-line vote by the Senate’s social affairs committee Monday.
“Parents have a responsibility to parent their children, and they should be able to teach their teens appropriate use of cannabis without fear of criminal penalty,” Bernard told the committee. “It would be sharing of a legal substance, not an illicit substance. I would see it as being similar to sharing a glass of wine in one’s home.”
It still has to pass the full Senate and go back to the Commons, but Victoria lawyer Kirk Tousaw sees Monday’s decisions as probably the last round of meaningful tweaks to Canada’s new marijuana law.