It is a day filled with mixed sentiments for Canadian activists, who have long wanted to see the recreational use of cannabis legalized but not exactly this way.
After receiving the Cannabis Act from the House of Commons, the Senate made four dozens of amendments including giving provinces the freedom to ban home cultivation. However, after the House of Commons objecting to the changes, the Senate accepted on Tuesday the bill in line with its original tone set by the House of Commons where the motion on home cultivation ban, for example, was defeated.
Despite reverting back to the Cannabis Act original text, some activists still see “flaws.”
“I am very happy to see the Cannabis Act pass the Senate,” the B.C.-based Canadian activist, Dana Larsen wrote on Twitter. “Canada‘s legalization legislation is deeply flawed, but it’s also a big step forward,” he added.
Larsen, who distributed three million of marijuana seeds two years ago in defiance of prohibition, said: “We still have a lot of work to do before cannabis and those who use it are truly free and equal under the law.”
I am very happy to see the Cannabis Act pass the Senate.
Canada’s legalization legislation is deeply flawed, but it’s also a big step forward.
However, we still have a lot of work to do before cannabis and those who use it are truly free and equal under the law.
— Dana Larsen (@DanaLarsen) June 20, 2018
Cannabis possession arrests
Another activist, Jodie Emery said while many people are celebrating legalization, “I’ve got one question for @JustinTrudeau:
Will you issue a moratorium on unjust cannabis possession arrests NOW? Or will hundreds of Canadians continue being arrested for months to come?”
Her question to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reflects one of the main demands cannabis activists have and that is to clear records over marijuana possession charges.
Jodie’s husband Mark Emery, another Canadian activist, denounced the whole legalization process as a “sham, a betrayal, a sell-out to the government, a bureaucratic nightmare, unworkable, unsustainable, unjust and fraught with punishments galore.”
Many Canadians have criticized the Canadian government monopoly over marijuana businesses especially in the province of Ontario.
Ontario’s new Premier Doug Ford since June 7 made a startling announcement before his new role when he promised that he will create an “open market” for legal marijuana, reflecting what many Canadians want to see happening.
Some Canadians on social media also criticized the heightened severity of the punishment penned in the bill.
How long are we expected to wait, living with increased penalties, before the law is improved to a state which is fair and reasonable? Will parliament be proactive in bettering the law or will we be forced to wait for the judicial system?
— pat (@pat78641741) June 20, 2018
The debate on what is right and wrong in the bill will continue to linger.
One of the Senate amendments to create a registry for shareholders in the cannabis industry was also obliterated.
However, others see it as a must.
Yes and we need a public registry of major shareholders so that industry ties to politicians and decision makers can be exposed.
— dp (@DPatterson7) June 20, 2018