I have just returned from Ottawa. THE COMMITTEE APPROVES UP TO 3 plants personal cultivation, following a proposal by myself, Crystal & Jody Pressman, shown on this page. Its not a criminal offense but is liable to a $250 fine. Its a little wedge but the committee approved it so now it goes to the House of Commons. Exciting news about the DPA Conference in New Jersey, the Forbes Magazine article this week on the BC POT INDUSTRY, why I believe we should stop weed oil extraction…
Its been a tumultuous week and its not over yet!
Alaska, HEMP P.O. Box 92910
ANCHORAGE, AK 99509
Safe Communities, Safe Homes Amendment
Ï institute a licensing and inspection apparatus at the municipal level
Ï 2 unannounced inspections a year to ensure compliance with license
Ï cost of inspections to be covered by a $100 license fee to be paid by the license holder themselves
Ï 10 plant maximum, no penalty at 10 plants or below
Ï having more than the 10 plant limit or failure to repair, prevent, or safeguard against wiring/mold issues will result in a revocation of license and criminal sanctions
Safe Communities, Safe Homes Amendment
A proposed amendment to Bill C-38: Bill C-38, An Act to amend the Contraventions Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
This amendment deals with Bill C-38, and the decriminalization of cultivation of marijuana for PERSONAL USE ONLY. This amendment attempts to address the important and pressing need to both a) ensure that our communities can reduce, control, and be safe from the hazards and harms associated with grow-ops and b) reduce the support of black market, criminal sources of marijuana.
All law enforcement officials appearing before the committee have brought to the committee’s attention their urgent concerns over the potential harms and hazards which grow-ops pose to our communities across Canada. This proposed amendment specifically attempts to account for the concerns raised by law enforcement officials and act to curtail both the demand which feeds the explosion of large-scale grow ops, as well as to reduce the serious harms which unregulated and unsafe personal grow ops pose to the community at large. Chief among the concerns raised by law enforcement officials has been the threat posed to the community by the unsafe nature of grow ops, this amendment aims to curtail this threat and provide a more sensible approach to the pivotal issue of procurement of marijuana in the face of mounting dissatisfaction of many members in a bill which will effectively sends the message that supporting organized crime is the only acceptable way through which to procure marijuana. This amendment would send a clear message that large scale grow ops, organized criminal involvement in the marijuana trade, and the threat which both of these pose to our communities will not be tolerated. Instead, if adopted, this amendment would decriminalize simple cultivation for personal use, instituting regulatory checks and balances which mitigate and reduce if not eliminate the potential threats caused to the community by individuals growing marijuana in unsafe conditions.
The fundamental and important improvement of Bill C-38 in this proposed amendment is the assurance by qualified inspection officials that marijuana is being cultivated solely for personal use within the ten plant limit, equally and perhaps more important is the safety assurance which will be part of a complete qualified inspection which will ensure proper mold and water damage prevention, proper wiring and use of CSA-certified ballasts and equipment, and ensure that the grower is not possessing a fire-threat or other types of threat to the health and safety of the community previously associated with grow-ops. Electrical and safety inspections and plant limits will reassure landlord, neighbours, and police alike. They will assure that children and neighbours are not at risk for mold, fire, or electrocution. Finally, inspections will assure that the cultivation is limited to the 10 plant maximum and for personal use only.
This amendment addresses the major law enforcement concerns about hazards posed to society by an increase in illegal grow-ops, as well it provides a solution to a key problem which many members of the committee have repeatedly raised as contradictory and problematic — namely, the removal of criminal sanctions for simple possession but not for simple personal cultivation. The effect of which would be sending the message that the criminal marijuana market is open season and people will get the clear message where this committee expects Canadians to get their marijuana and spend their money. Instead, this amendment allows law enforcement officials to focus its energy more narrowly on the larger-scale, traffic and sale-oriented, criminal grow-ops, while ensuring that this criminal market would receive long over-due competition from individual Canadians who can become self-sufficient in production of their own personal small-scale safely grown marijuana, subsequently putting a serious dent in the lucrative profit jackpot currently enjoyed by criminal elements who exploit the market spawned by the old prohibition regime.
In the recent R. v. Hitzig decision at the Ontario Court of Appeal, MMAR regulations for medical users were found to be constitutionally deficient, one result of which is a more liberal allowance for designated growers who grow marijuana not for themselves but to supply medical marijuana exemptees for its medicinal benefits. This committee should be mindful of the message which the courts are already sending by this decision that small scale marijuana production is permissible, and if closely monitored and inspected for safety will not a threat to the public. This amendment would help ease the daily burden of hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana users in Canada who cannot get a s. 56 exemption as a result of bureaucratic red tape or the strong reluctance of doctors to prescribe marijuana on advice from the Canadian medical association.
Marijuana cultivation has occurred in Canadian communities in the past and will continue into the future regardless of whether this amendment is adopted, this amendment however, provides the committee with a serious opportunity to address some of the main criticisms of this legislation and the failures of previous policy approaches in regards to the harms of illegal grow-ops, while also balancing Bill C-38’s removal of criminal penalties associated with simple marijuana possession with a removal of criminal penalties associated with simple marijuana cultivation provided that it is for personal use only in order to prevent people from seeking out and supporting the black market for an unsafe, unknown, price inflated product.
This committee has lamented the lack of practical solutions available to achieve positive and measurable benefits in society and moreover a marked improvement from the status quo of dealing with grow-ops in Canadian communities. We respectfully submit to this committee that this amendment if adopted will take a vital step in reducing the hazards and harms which in their testimony, law enforcement officials warned occur because of marijuana grow operations in our communities today.
This amendment provides Bill C-38 with a clear and focused message that keeping our communities safe is a top priority and can best be achieved by focusing law enforcement attention on unsafe large scale grow ops run by organized criminal rackets and by enforcing new and concrete safety regulations which will offer a solution to the hazards of smaller grow-ops. This would provide a legal (or less socially harmful) source of marijuana that does not force marijuana users to support the black market, in turn reducing the demand for and support of large-scale and more harmful grow houses run by organized crime. Importantly this approach represents a more balanced, logical, and reasoned message to the problems posed by decriminalizing marijuana possession yet at the same time not offering any constructive solution that will prevent marijuana users from continuing to support, feed, and fuel the criminal organizations reaping lucrative profits and establishing large-scale grow ops as a result of the supply and demand relationship established by this Bill. A failure to address the supply and demand issue of where people will go to get their marijuana and how best can we ensure our communities are kept as safe as possible from the enumerated harms which grow-ops continue to levy on our neighbourhoods every day that this amendment which institutes a safety and health inspection regime.
This amendment, will make our communities safer by tackling some of the key harms with which they are faced as a result of the out of control growth of grow-ops, the first step: take back control. Put in place an inspection based regime which will ensure the conditions for safe homes, safe communities, and the resolution of a key failure in Bill C-38: continuing to put our communities at risk from safety hazards of the proliferation of grow ops in our communities that have faulty wiring, which have mold and other damage, or are producing for reasons other than personal use. This amendment will reduce harms to the community by growers who are already operating without such safety regulation and inspection, in large part reduce the profitability of the illegal marijuana market because people will immediately stop supporting drug dealers and be self-sufficient in regards to their consumption, and finally we can loosen the tight grip of control which black market sources have on the marijuana trade and in our communities. Large scale grow ops, the hazard and proliferation of grow ops in the first place are a result of an absence of a proper vehicle to break the black market cycle and address the serious harms which unregulated and unsafe grow ops threaten our communities with every day.
Safe Communities, Safe Homes Amendment