HESA Hearings – The Cannabis Act Day Five

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.

Breaking updates:

Update: The first two speakers opened only with brief introductions. Dispensary owner Dana Larsen opened with a passionate, sensible speech on the history of prohibition in Canada.

Dana Larsen rightly blamed prohibition for the causes of most drug problems and is the only speaker to acknowledge the racist roots of prohibition.

Update: MP Toasterbud continues to show ignorance, having clearly never read any of the landmark Allard trial which proved in the Supreme Court that home gardens are not dangerous and home gardeners tend to have a very close relationship with their medicine despite not having complex testing methods.

Update: Dana Larsen broke protocol and asked a reasonable question to another speaker which put his statistics in context. The questioned speaker didn’t seem to mind and thought the question was reasonable, but MPs reacted with frowns.

Update: The most basic questions about cannabis products are being asked. It’s shocking how uninformed most MPs are, and, other than Dana Larsen, the experts don’t seem to have tried cannabis. There is no reason why a room full of this many adults with doctors haven’t at least tried cannabis.

Update: Experts cannot name specific harms they allude to.

Update: Dana Larsen, ‘When laws are unfair and based on racial bigotry, we have a moral obligation to break them.

Update: Dana Larsen, ‘There should be an apology for a hundred years of unfair laws. People are still being arrested every single day. Putting people in jail for a few grams of cannabis is wrong. The highest increase in cannabis use happened under the most strict laws. The laws don’t work, and need to be drafted to reflect the real state and needs of society.’

Update: Panel on medical cannabis demands a change in regulations, reduction in price, and proper classification. Patients have no insurance coverage, should pay no tax on it, and spending on prohibition enforcement grossly outweighs medical research. The current structure promotes opiates. Home growing is an essential right.

Update: Medical cannabis patients need a wide variety of products not available under current and proposed regulations, and are forced to purchase them from the black market, which will not have enforceable standards of safety.

Update: Testimony claims cannabis does not have a DIN (drug identification number) because of how many natural chemicals are in it, may need a separate classification.

Update: Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s agrees roadside testing is not accurate yet.

Update: Marc Emery challenges the federal government, demanding adult sovereignty in regards to cannabis. Cannabis was made illegal by one motion in parliament and should be undone the same way.

Update: Jodie Emery details a long list of cannabis’ benefits, recounting the pain of prohibition arrests.

Update: Morgantoller case is referenced by both Jodie and Marc as necessary civil disobedience.

Update: MP Toasterbud refutes Jodie Emery’s claims of no proven increase in traffic accidents related to cannabis. Toasterbud repeatedly brings up stats with limited scope, showing a small spike from a single year (2013), ignoring an 8 year downward trend in Colorado.

Update: MP Don Davies thanks Marc and Jodie Emery for their activism and acknowledges that the Cannabis Act would not exist without civil disobedience.

Jodie Emery, ‘the Act, as written, does not achieve its goals. I’d rather the money for prohibition go anywhere else, social programs, housing, health care.’

Update: Marc Emery ‘We can never allow the government to profit off the harm they’ve done from prohibition. Jailing, arresting, beating.’

Update: Marc Emery, ‘Cannabis is the only industry that hasn’t killed anyone in the last 50 years. De-schedule the drug. We’re peaceful, industrious people who love a plant. What do you have against us?’

Update: Jodie Emery, ‘Instead of creating jobs, you’re forcing taxpayers to subsidize a venture doomed to fail.’

Update: MP Mckinnon corrects MP Toasterbud’s stats about Colorado’s driving accidents, shows submission from Colorado expert indicating a decline in accidents.

Update: Marc Emery, ‘Indoor cannabis is expensive and a waste of urban space. If cannabis was grown on scale, in the large farms, the price would be pennies. I look forward to when legalization takes all the money out of cannabis.’

Update: Marc Emery, ‘CBD will soon be in everything you consume, as it’s non-psychoactive and of enormous benefit to health. People won’t even want to smoke it when it’s really available. Cannabis should be truly opened to the market.’

Update: Jodie Emery, ‘It’s risk and reward. Indoor grows happen because they’re profitable. True legalization will lead to an increase in quality. People don’t want mouldy bud or pesticides. Open the market and it will thrive.’

Update: Federation of Canadian Municipalities continues to suggest legalization will be more expensive than prohibition, despite officers not having to arrest possession, cannot provide specific estimates of where costs come from. ‘Preparing’ and ‘training’ are cited.

Update: Marc Emery, ‘One of the issues not discussed by Ontario cannabis monopolies is that every federal employee they hire could be barred from entering the United States, and employees of government run cannabis stores should consider that. Current dispensary staff already understand the risk.’

Update: Marc Emery, ‘I can do a lot of things that are dangerous, like drink alcohol, because most people handle responsibility well. They’re adults. Then they’re told absurd things, like controlling plants’ heights.’ ‘The government have never apologized for the last 50 years of brutal policy.’

Update: MP Don Davies asks about edibles being legal in Washington, Colorado, etc, which the Cannabis Act does not allow. Should edibles be allowed?

Jodie Emery cites ‘R V Smith, and the right to access various cannabis medicines, including edibles. There are so many events and products, search for them. Adults should be free to use cannabis as they see fit.’

Don Davies asks Marc Emery about the lack of online sale availability in the Cannabis Act.

Marc Emery, ‘What we’re looking for is a reduction in price over time. Marijuana should be cheap. People are spending too much money on marijuana. Every municipality and police chief who spoke is a demand to gouge a vulnerable population for money.’

MP Don Davies calls for more testimony to include regular Canadians, edible manufacturers, dispensary operators and licensed producers.

Update: Don Davies is emphatic that the public have a voice in the discussion, as it is the only chance for the public to speak. ‘It’s obvious there are glaring holes in the bill. We haven’t heard from one witness age 15 to 24. We haven’t heard from a single edible or concentrate manufacturer. I believe the Liberals don’t want to hear from these groups.’

‘The NDP supports this bill, and wants to fix the holes in this bill, the lack of pardons and more. It still criminalizes people up to 14 years. We are going to go through the entire act, line by line.’

‘I want the Liberal government to explain why the voice of youth isn’t important, why ordinary Canadians aren’t be heard. And, if not, they need to explain why those voices are not being heard.’

Update: MP Don Davies, ‘I don’t need 50 and 60 year olds telling me how to talk to youth. I want to speak to the youth.’

Update: Don Davies calls for a recorded vote.

Update: Motion defeated.