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Policy Briefing: Cannabis
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Liberal MP Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada. Bill Blair announce launched a public consultation on the proposed regulatory approach for the proposed Cannabis Act on Nov. 21, 2017. When the Liberals promised Canadians cannabis legalization in the last election, Canadians understood legalization to mean the end of criminalization, the end of stigmatization, and the end of the prohibitionist approach to cannabis, writes Don Davies. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Trudeau government should create process to pardon, expunge criminal records of Canadians with cannabis offences

Given that cannabis possession will soon be made legal in Canada, the NDP has been clear from the outset that we should immediately decriminalize the possession of recreational cannabis for personal use pending full legalization.
What is ideal an age for cannabis literacy to start and when should it stop, if ever? Start young and don’t stop. Many youth may face challenges with employment screening, insurance and professional regulatory bodies e.g. Armed Forces, police, public transport drivers, health and construction, to mention a few. What does a positive cannabis test mean, without a criminal record?
Perhaps most pressing for the Liberal government is getting Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, through an increasingly unpredictable Senate.
This law, and many that followed, had a considerable negative impact on the very groups that their proponents so often purported to help. At a time when Canada once again stands at the forefront of international drug law, we should set an example to the world by providing redress for the harms we now know we have inflicted.
Opinion|Jenny Gerbasi
With the right tools, local governments will be ready to answer the tough questions and reassure Canadians that they’ll be safe and well-served in a world of legal cannabis.
The combination of a lack of resources; insufficient time to train law enforcement; as well as flawed and unscientific per se limits underlie the need for the Liberals to put the brakes on their rushed and arbitrary timeline to legalize marijuana. If they don’t, our roads are going to become a lot more dangerous come the summer of 2018.
The government's legalization legislation won't punish youth caught possessing small amounts of cannabis, nor adults who legally grow a small number of cannabis plants for their own use.
To deal with its new cannabis oversight duties, Health Canada created a cannabis legalization and regulation branch.
Health Canada says its national education advertising campaign is set to launch in the spring, but critics warn it should have been in place months ago to make sure youth are prepared for July 1's cannabis legalization.
For some reason, the government seems bound and determined to confine growing of cannabis to the indoors. This is bizarre. Cannabis grows well outdoors. In fact, it grows like a weed. It is an ideal crop to replace tobacco cultivation in many parts of Canada.

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