HESA Hearings – The Cannabis Act Day Four

POT TV – Follow the live stream of the HESA Standing Committee on Health hearings for Bill C-45 The Cannabis Act.

Follow the breaking testimony of HESA hearings related to Bill C45, The Cannabis Act.


Update: Health professional testimony with no understanding of cannabis. Doctor cites anecdotal evidence and complains of cannabis being ‘laced,’ which will not exist in a legal market. Speaker claims risk of psychosis despite a fifty year increase in cannabis use not resulting in any increase in psychosis in general population. Speaker confuses shatter concentrates with synthetic cannabis.

Update: Speaker calls for ‘grudging acceptance’ of cannabis.

Update: All panelists agree criminal justice approach is a failure.

Update: MP Don Davies calls out a number of outrageous claims.

Update: MP Sonia Sidhu questions claims of ‘laced’ cannabis. “Expert” claims a legal market’s clean cannabis will be as dangerous.

Update: Calls for plain packaging are made and advertising/sponsorship restriction despite open liquor, sugar, caffeine, etc advertising.

Update: “Expert” continues to reference Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome while admitting he doesn’t know what causes it, and can’t explain why cannabis is used to treat nausea. “Expert” claims there isn’t enough science on cannabis, despite PubMD having over 20,000 hits from a “cannabis” search string.

Update: Study shows medical patients prefer home grown cannabis for safety, cleanliness and availability.

Update: Continued calls for an end to criminal justice approach and decriminalization, ‘There are no recreational cannabis emergencies.’

Update: MP Colin Carrie continues to repeat that more time is needed and the issue is complex, despite the 94 years government has had to end prohibition, the thousands of studies available, and the existing multi-billion dollar market which operates with almost no oversight.

Update: Don Davies motions to increase hearings by two days to include Licenced Producers, Dispensaries, Youth, Edible Manufacturers, Ordinary Canadians.

Licenced Producers have already used lobby groups to testify.

Update: After call for ordinary Canadians’ views on cannabis, expert cites recent study on cannabis users.

Update: Discussion of cannabis and workplace safety. Statement suggests medical cannabis mirrors current prescription drugs, and ‘safety sensitive positions’ (pilots, truck drivers, etc) can be randomly tested. Workers with substance abuse problems should have a mechanism to self-report use so liability is known.

All cannabis employees should be protected, and amnesty needs to be granted and those with prior convictions shouldn’t be excluded from the market, as it jeopardizes those who are unreasonably denied access to the industry.

Update: How will First Nations regulate cannabis? How will the introduction of cannabis change ceremony? How will revenue sharing work?

Update: First Nations are not being reimbursed for medical cannabis. (16 years of non-payment!?)

Update: Highly contentious discussion regarding packaging, including a stern exchange about tobacco lobbying.

Sadly not single person in the room actually uses cannabis and understands the product. There was discussion of banning pre-rolled joints, not understanding that three or four novice users can easily smoke a single joint between them, and, if not available, would only promote more consumption.

Debate regarding the exclusion of sponsorship does not take into account that cannabis friendly events, like Vancouver’s 420, are far more peaceful than non-cannabis friendly events.

Products should not be targeted toward children. Favorable views on plain packaging, however the black market has sold cannabis in ziplock bags for years.

Update: International law panel suggests a few options including withdrawing from treaties, or painting legalization in different ways as loopholes (large scale scientific study). No mention of the numerous violations already existing, or the double standards routinely seen in international law.

Update: Lawyer Kirk Tousaw lays out the most simple, straight forward presentation of the day, and has an understanding of the market, the medicine, the players and the clients. No more prison for pot. Bring the existing multi-billion dollar industry into simple regulation.

Update: Continued support for the end of criminal justice approach to cannabis. Expert for the UK calls Cannabis Act sentences “absurd.” No more prison for pot.

Update: International drug treaties called “outdated” and “obsolete” by multiple experts, “simply not fit for purpose.” Some of the treaties are over 50 years old.

Update: If cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco, why is it being treated more harshly? Consumers want edibles and concentrates, and they will not stop being sold. The only want to eliminate the black market is to make it easy to include the existing market.

Update: Kirk Tousaw points out Canada has been in violation of drug treaties since 2005 with no adverse effect.

UPDATE: An extra day was added to hearings after all the speakers, but not what was requested from MP Don Davies. Davies requested dispensaries, edible makers, regular Canadians and youth, the voices largely shut out from the conversation. The current additions are:

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P., Minister of Justice Hon. Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P., Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Department of Health – Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister Department of Justice – Carole Morency, Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness – Trevor Bhupsingh, Director General, Law Enforcement and Border Strategies Directorate

After a week of hearings where the consensus seems to overwhelmingly be that the criminal justice approach to drug policy is a complete failure and there is no reason to regulate cannabis more harshly than tobacco or alcohol, that immediate decriminalization is needed to stop wasting resources and brutalizing citizens, and the final day is slated with well-known dispensary owners and cannabis activists, a whole day is being dedicated to government mouthpieces, none of whom truly understand cannabis.