Article by Mike O, Cannabis Life Network
The recent case of a Revelstoke home that got raided by the RCMP over three cannabis plants has made BC’s cannabis laws a laughingstock across the country. It’s not only due to cannabis being legal in Canada since October 2018. But because you’re allowed to grow up to 4 plants!
So how did this happen? It’s the fault of BC’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA), which was created by John Horgan’s NDP government.
Section 56 (g) of the CCLA states, among other things, that you can grow cannabis only if:
“The cannabis plant is not visible from a… “public place” by an individual unaided by any device other than a device to correct vision”.
Which begs the question…
What is considered a public place?
The CCLA defines “public place” as “any place to which the public has access as of right or by invitation, express or implied, whether or not a fee is charged for entry”.
But this is where the raid in Revelstoke gets complicated. The three cannabis plants in question were only noticed when an off-duty cop saw them while attending a community garden tour on someone’s private property.
Keep in mind there can be a huge difference between following the letter of the law and common sense. The crux of the issue is whether the authorities were being too overzealous with the application of the law.
But first, we need to know..
What happened in Revelstoke?
On July 28, Anna Minten participated in Revelstoke’s seventh annual Garden and Art Tour, a popular self-guided event. In this event artists and gardeners team up to display their work to the general public.
Minten’s garden was a stop on the tour, and one of the attendees was an off-duty cop. He saw the three cannabis plants on Minten’s property.
On Friday, Aug. 2, Revelstoke RCMP executed a search warrant at Minten’s home while she and her husband Emmanuel Levesque Dupere were out having dinner.
When they returned, the couple realized the RCMP had searched their home, including the rooms of their tenants. After, finding their belongings moved around and a copy of the search warrant on a stool, as reported by the Revelstoke Mountaineer.
“Reasonable grounds for believing that the following offences have been committed:
Grown non-medical cannabis that is visible from [a] public place, contrary to Section 56(g) of the Cannabis Control and Licencing Act”.
Why BC’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act is worse than the Cannabis Act
There are huge problems with the CCLA, and it’s almost ironic if you consider how BC is home to some of Canada’s best growers. Yet it has some of the country’s dumbest growing laws. You can thank John Horgan and the BC NDP for that!
If you’re wondering how the Cannabis Act factors into all of this.
The Cannabis Act is the federal act regulating cannabis, which laid the foundation for cannabis legalization in Canada. The provinces and territories had the option to accept the regulations in the Cannabis Act as is, or create stricter cannabis rules. This is exactly what BC did with their growing laws in the CCLA. Since, the requirement that you can grow only if it isn’t visible from a public place is nowhere in the Cannabis Act.
This is one reason why Canada’s cannabis laws are so confusingly inconsistent.