Canadian Parliament Debates Cannabis Legalization

POT TV – Footage from the House of Commons during the second reading of Bill C45 The Cannabis Act.

Footage from May 30th 2017 of the House of Commons, Sitting No 183, the second reading of the Cannabis Act.

When cannabis was made illegal in Canada 94 years ago, it was done so without any parliamentary debate. Unfortunately the debate surrounding cannabis’ legalization seems to be as flawed as the bill itself, which favours using police powers to protect Licensed Producer market share and relies on sketchy science to scare.

Multiple members of the House reference an article by the CMAJ, “Cannabis legislation fails to protect Canada’s youth.” The article was written with no independent study and was based on flawed review methodology. The direct claims of cannabis’ harms to the developing mind are rooted in studies which do not provide proper cannabis dosage measuring (chemical amount, phenotype, most prevalent cannabinoid and terpene amount, pesticide amount) or exclusion (cannabis usage only),

One such source article details, “most of the marijuana users in this study were moderate to heavy drinkers. … it is difficult to disentangle the potential neural influence of each substance. Future studies including teens who use alcohol or marijuana alone will help clarify the contributions of each substance and their interaction on brain functioning.” (Schweinsburg AD, Schweinsburg BC, Medina KL, McQueeny T, Brown SA, Tapert SF. The influence of recency of use on fMRI response during spatial working memory in adolescent marijuana users. J of Psycho Drugs. 2010; 42(3):401–12.).

Neither the Canadian Medical Association Journal editor nor Health Minister Jane Philpott responded to PotTV’s request for a proper re-examination of the information being presented to the House of Commons (as of upload date). The evidence of harm to the developing brain is far from solid.

The concerns related to cannabis and road safety were also deeply flawed. Almost every MP was unaware of a review of over 20 studies on the matter, and the inability to detect psychoactivity by bloodstream cannabis nanogram amount.

Dr Carl Hart recently gave an in-depth overview of why cannabis studies are biased toward the negative.

Photo Courtesy of the Toronto Star