Canada’s Senate Passes Bill S-10 with Mandatory Jail for Growing 5 or More Marijuana Plants

CANNABIS CULTURE – [Editor’s Note: THIS STORY CONTAINS INCORRECT INFORMATION – Bill S-10 has NOT yet passed the Senate. Click here for more info].

The Senate of Canada has passed the controversial Bill S-10, which includes mandatory minimum jail sentences of six months for growing as few as five marijuana plants. The bill now heads to the House of Commons to be voted on by Members of Parliament.

A similar bill, C-15, made it through the Senate and House last year, but was first watered-down and ultimately killed when Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament in the wake of allegations of Canadian involvement in torture in Afghanistan.

Now, with a stacked Senate, the Conservatives have been able to pass a stronger version of the bill, which includes mandatory prison terms of six months for just a few plants. These mandatory sentences increases to a two-year minimum for growing or dealing near a school or park, and even more time with other ‘aggravating factors’.

The bill also includes mandatory jail terms of 18 months for extracting and sharing hash or making pot edibles. This means medical marijuana users who make pot cookies would be at risk of arrest, as there is no protection of this activity by current medical marijuana laws.

YOU CAN HELP STOP S-10 FROM BECOMING CANADIAN LAW

Please call or email your Member of Parliament’s office and tell them not to support Bill S-10! No mandatory minimums for marijuana! Find your MP on this list or search with your Postal Code.

Let the Liberal Party know you are against this bill – call Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff: (613) 995-9364

Click here for information about occupying your Member of Parliaments office as a protest.

Sign up at WhyProhibition.ca to get involved in marijuana activism online and receive regular updates about S-10 and protest actions in your area.

Watch Cannabis Culture for more news about Bill S-10 and upcoming activism events.


Canadian Senate Passes Mandatory Minimums for Five Marijuana Plants

by Janice Tibbetts, Postmedia News

The Senate has backed away from a fight with the Conservative government and passed a controversial drug-sentencing bill that would automatically imprison people caught growing five or more marijuana plants.

One year after the upper house watered down proposed legislation by raising the bar to more than 200 plants, a new version of the bill is once again before the Senate and the chamber of sober second thought has decided that the previous amendment would never survive a final vote among MPs.

“It was irrational,” conceded Liberal Sen. George Baker. “It wasn’t going to fly with the Conservatives, and it wasn’t going to fly with the Liberals.”

A Senate-Commons tug-of-war over the bill — to impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes for the first time in Canada — began more than a year ago, when the Liberals in the upper chamber enraged Justice Minister Rob Nicholson by altering his bill so that anyone caught with six to 200 pot plants would not go to jail.

The bill was in its final stages when it died after Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament last December.

Nicholson revived his proposed legislation in the spring but ignored the Senate amendment and set the bar back at his original five plants.

The bill was reintroduced in the Senate, which is reviewing the proposals before it sends them to the House of Commons for public hearings and a final vote.

Nicholson’s proposed legislation would impose mandatory six-month terms for growing five or more plants with the intent to sell, and one-year sentences when marijuana dealing is linked to organized crime or a weapon is involved.

Minimum sentences would increase to two years for dealing such drugs as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine to young people, or pushing drugs near a school or other places frequented by youths.

Baker said reviving the Senate amendment of 200 plants was never raised this time around. The Senate dug its heels last year simply to “make a statement” against mandatory minimum jail terms, which he described as “crazy.”

The Liberals proposed a different amendment earlier this month in the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee — to impose jail terms for growing 20 plants or more — but it failed.

Conservatives gained a majority in the Senate this year.

– Article from The Vancouver Sun

Comments

26 Comments

  1. Johnyb on

    The politicians and police should think back a few years ago when they were kicking in bathhouse doors looking for gay people, remember? Any gays in your family Harper? Well now it’s pots turn in a few years when all the tough guy cops and politicians are retired and then they find out their kids are gay and smoke pot, gotta love that Karma, all you old boys tighten your helmets your not gona like the ride. what do the conservatives have in mind, will buss loads of seniors be going to jail cause they grew a few plants in the closet of the old age home, you old guys in power should be ashamed of yourselfs and look at history. and lock up your own sons and daughters and then you’ll feel the real people’s pain, now your just a pain in the ass.
    on my way to law school to fuck up the old system.

  2. Anonymous on

    i believe that it is time all Canadians had a say in this matter.
    it is truly time for a REEFERENDUM which would be a very democratic way of handling this subject. it won’t happen with a right winged dictator running the country with George Bush policies regarding drug laws. Harper, you are a GOOF, in every sense of the word. Free speech in Canada is a myth as you are likely monitoring this message as i type it. do i care, no. i am willing fight to be heard.
    most open minded Canadians out there are afraid to be seen and heard, for fear of reprisals from the law & gov’t.

    Harper, you could be the next Canadian Idol if you played your cards right. That is through government funding monies approved by you. I love to smoke a joint, crack a beer & pick up my guitar. pretty harmless stuff, but as a musician who jams with friends regularly, i have this advice : DO NOT EVER AGAIN PLAY OR SING IN PUBLIC AGAIN. You are a joke and make me as a musician, want to puke and would never in a million years get my vote. give me a Trudeau to vote for. Choices are good, unfortunately there is not much to choose from, hence the Punishers are still in office. i feel nauseated with choices available to Canadians.

    if all of us put a paper bag over our head, like the unknown comic and took one day a year to stand protest on our major highways, we could effectively shut the country down temporarily. many would be arrested unless the numbers were overwhelming. i mean hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people. this is the kind of action that would open the gov’ts eyes. would they imprison or criminally charge most of the workplace. they probably would try as it is win at all costs in their eyes. there are way too many jobs at risk here. cops, lawyers, judges, clerks etc. let us be just like the good old usa and punish the evil pot smokers who pose no threat to society. no human right violations here.
    Marc Emery, you are one of my heroes. in my opinion, you deserve better than the treatment you endure while incarcerated in Georga, usa. the people who run usa drug policies and prisons are PIGS. Period. Canada is following suit.
    if i were you i would go on a prolonged hunger strike, rather than eat the dog food you are provided. i personally do not buy or eat any fresh food products from the usa as i don’t trust them and wouldn’t feed what you are forced to eat to my dog.
    i say hit them where it hurts, in the pocket. that will grab their attention.
    Rod,
    Frankford ontario

  3. Anonymous on

    Why don’t the canadians legalize growing and smoking. Responsibily.

    And band selling. Unless your doing it for the smokers, without the intent to sell.

    A man gotta do what a man gotta do.

    You know, giving presents to children make them grow up wanting to smoke marijuana.

    Opening presents are like, getting fresh buds.

    I can imagine when these kids grow up, and don’t get what they want.

    What they’ll do to their elders, and society.

  4. xina on

    he may be all that and a bag of bricks, but please don’t insinuate he’s female. that’s insulting to all women everywhere…

  5. Anonymous on

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  6. A Very Angry Canadian on

    Everyone here so far is correct. This is BULLSHIT that should not be allowed in an educated, liberal (not the party) minded population that actually has the brains to think and act for themselves. This is proof further still that the Senate needs to be reformed and elected so that WE, THE PEOPLE have some say in matters.

    This is just another contravention of our civil liberties by a corrupt and UN-THINKING government. Time and time again, the policy of mandatory sentencing has proven to be a social, moral and financial disaster. When the Canadian penal system is full already and demands are made to build more and very expensive prisons, this makes absolutely no sense at all. Fiscally it is not something that we can afford, and it proves that the Senate is morally bankrupt and incapable of providing the leadership and second thoughts that it intended to be. Instead of progressing, they are turning around and causing more havoc and needlessly ruining more people’s lives. That is the definition of sadism.

    I cannot believe that something this fascist is allowed to proceed through the government. They should be planning for the removal of pot from Schedule 2 and the removal of an illegitimate law that had no validity in the first place. Instead, they want to look more like the Stalinist, Maoist, unthinking governments of totalitarian regimes that created the gulags and re-education camps.

    Does anyone remember the term “victimless crime”? Without a victim, there is no crime. Growing, smoking or eating is not a crime, it’s a recreation or a hobby or it’s medicine. That makes the government the criminal as those arrested are the victims of government insanity.

    Not that government has ever given me a reason to believe in them or support them, but this is just another nail in an already overburdened coffin. Like the wasted $1.2 BILLION on the G20 photo-op didn’t already prove that.

  7. Anonymous on

    It’s a stupid bill, immoral & counterproductive. I’m just going to throw this out there: grafting.

  8. Garneyman on

    Like the majority of us proud Canadians, I concur with the rest of the views expressed. All valid arguments.

    After reading them however, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the people making these comments take the time to contact their MP and call Mr. Ignatieff’s office? You know…. quit griping and actually take action?!

    I know I did.

    Hope you do too!
    (Talk’s cheap….. Hopefully Emery didn’t go to jail for nothing. What do you think he would do??? Guaranteed, he’d at LEAST contact his MP and pick up the phone!)

  9. Anonymous on

    steven haper is littlest America.
    Reform stands for Republicains. He is not our master. The manority harper will get his ass kicked out by the 70% majority of the Canadians. He is aphony
    Canadian he only beleaves what the USA tell him to do and he does it. It is time to replace this american polition with a real Canadian who stand up for Canada not the USA.America is bankrupt and this is what Harper plan for Canada. He does not beleave in health care we need nursing home and he builds
    prisons for un reported crimes. So Canadians we are going to flip the tax bill for people who will go to jail for fucking, smoking a less harmfull plant than cigarets, $80,000.00 a year for one prison bed, for what %0 billion dollars a year for the pot war. 20 Billion dollars a year for the prison, A war in Afgan $$$$$$ at our tax bill and a world depression 60 billion dollar defaset. The Harper government uses our money the fuck over the Canadians people who he does not like.

  10. mackraceing on

    Meanwhile we have chem-trails spraying more crap than ever to likely contaminate our soil so only GMO will grow.They know cannabis is the only plant in the world that will clean the soil.Then they put shit in our water and meat sell us tobacco and alcohol that kill half a million a year.But we really need to fill harpers private prisons with mandatory jail for the most harmless herb on the planet.And all us tax payers can pay for this bullshit meanwhile our infrastructure is falling apart our hospitals,schools etc are failing but this gov has priority’s.WTF

  11. Anonymous on

    The bill has not yet passed third reading.

  12. Anonymous on

    This part shows just how appalling S-10 really is;

    “The bill also includes mandatory jail terms of 18 months for extracting and sharing hash or making pot edibles. This means medical marijuana users who make pot cookies would be at risk of arrest, as there is no protection of this activity by current medical marijuana laws.”

    What the hell is the logic for that? Is making Cannabis brownies now more of a threat to society than growing 200 plants? Apparently so, according to genius Rob Nicholson. Yes, the situation in Canada is even worse than anyone even suspected. We’re now under the control of complete imbeciles and madmen, like Stephen Harper and Rob Nicholson. Is the New Iggy just gonna stand by and let this happen? The Igster will never allow granny to be automatically thrown into the clink for 18 months just for baking some brownies. Unless, of course, Iggy is also an alien. Then we’re doomed. Layton sure won’t stand against Harper. When Harper asks him how he votes he’ll say “yes, yes, a thousand times yes, I hereby nominate Stephen Harper for Supreme Chancellor of Canada, Sig Heil… er, I mean, Oh Canada!”.

  13. Anonymous on

    stephanie harper is nothiong but an inbred, square-headed, Hitler-esque hypocrite. Wake up Canadian voter before our country becomes the laughing stock of the continent. Send these rednecks packing!

  14. A-Braces on

    Where is “Senator” Larry Campbell in this critical issue he so falsely claimed to be against. “Tax the hell out of it” were his words back when he was mayor of Vanc.
    What was he thinking when the Senate passed bill S-10? Too busy thinking about all those murdered “pig farm” Piggy’s Palace Politician/Hells Angels’ hangout? where cops brought their old police cars to be fixed by the brother owners at their residence pig farm next door? murders he and others neatly organized to be from the Downtown Eastside? All while he was chief coroner – for 20 years (and an RCMP narc before that??? How well he knew how to take advantage of drug addicts – he paid them all $10 each and a free ride to the polling stations to go vote in the civic election in 2000, when he shocked the whole city by getting elected under COPE?

    Why now an S bill – why not another C? Shouldn’t these matters be labeled in categories? Did they go through D-R that fast?

    As they ALL ought to know very clearly, NO other herbs, raw foods or prescribtion drugs are taxed – so Cannabis cannot be taxed either! Very simple. It cannot be classified with Tobacco (cuz tobacco is classified with guns and ammo in the US) because it is food whereas tobacco is chewed but not eaten. Poppy pods and Coca leaves are eaten as well.

    Five plants? Ha! We all know how easy it is for small plants to not survive!

    Five stunted mature plants don’t produce enough for a year – not all plants grow 4ft high and have giant buds – like duh!!!

    How can Justice Minister Rob Nicholson judge how much people should grow when he has never grown any himself??? Huh? You can’t let an unexperienced person build a house to safety code if they’ve never built a house before – dito for growing pot!

    By the way, all those opiates that are prescribed for heroin and cocaine addicts are non-taxable and most are paid by big-pharma insurance plans.

    Email your leaders and ask them sensible questions, okay? More info found at abraces.ca/index_files/industryrelatednews.htm – Help educate politicians, voters and everyone around you.

  15. A-Braces on

    Where is “Senator” Larry Campbell in this critical issue he so falsely claimed to be against. “Tax the hell out of it” were his words back when he was mayor of Vanc.
    What was he thinking when the Senate passed bill S-10? Too busy thinking about all those murdered “pig farm” Piggy’s Palace Politician/Hells Angels’ hangout? where cops brought their old police cars to be fixed by the brother owners at their residence pig farm next door? murders he and others neatly organized to be from the Downtown Eastside? All while he was chief coroner – for 20 years (and an RCMP narc before that??? How well he knew how to take advantage of drug addicts – he paid them all $10 each and a free ride to the polling stations to go vote in the civic election in 2000, when he shocked the whole city by getting elected under COPE?

    Why now an S bill – why not another C? Shouldn’t these matters be labeled in categories? Did they go through D-R that fast?

    As they ALL ought to know very clearly, NO other herbs, raw foods or prescribtion drugs are taxed – so Cannabis cannot be taxed either! Very simple. It cannot be classified with Tobacco (cuz tobacco is classified with guns and ammo in the US) because it is food whereas tobacco is chewed but not eaten. Poppy pods and Coca leaves are eaten as well.

    Five plants? Ha! We all know how easy it is for small plants to not survive!

    Five stunted mature plants don’t produce enough for a year – not all plants grow 4ft high and have giant buds – like duh!!!

    How can Justice Minister Rob Nicholson judge how much people should grow when he has never grown any himself??? Huh? You can’t let an unexperienced person build a house to safety code if they’ve never built a house before – dito for growing pot!

    By the way, all those opiates that are prescribed for heroin and cocaine addicts are non-taxable and most are paid by big-pharma insurance plans.

    Email your leaders and ask them sensible questions, okay? More info found at abraces.ca/index_files/industryrelatednews.htm – Help educate politicians, voters and everyone around you.

  16. Anonymous on

    These divisive comments make you wonder…

  17. Anonymous on

    More proof (blatant I might add) that democracy is a myth. Welcome to the police state of Canada……….new jail cell anyone!

    Pull you head out of your rightous ass harper (not worthy of a capital letter) and let your pussy opposition vote for it too.

    Fucken trough hogs!

  18. Pete on

    “oddly enough, we have more freedom than you snobby northerners. Hah.”

    Gee Craig, if americas west coasters are all as friendly sounding as you, it sounds great…

    When Cali voted on Nov 2 I was celebrating and rooting for my American brothers.

  19. Pete on

    Well this certainly isn’t good news for anyone, marijuana users, tax payers in general, medical users who make baked goods… who is benefiting from this potential law? The way I see it it’s privately funded prisons, police looking for promotions, government prosecution lawyers, and gangs- since more risk = more $$$,

    hmm…. GOOD ONE SENATE! GLAD WE ELECTED YOU… WAIT… WE DIDN’T!

    “Canada’s Senate Passes Bill S-10 with Mandatory Jail for Growing 5 or More Marijuana Plants”

    “Half of Canadians Support the Legalization of Marijuana”

    These two headlines appear on the CC front page – this is proof that Canadian Democracy is failing us.

  20. Green Collar Heartz on

    I’m sorry neighbors that this is another symptom of what’s wrong in the world today…BP’s oil “accident”, the horrors of the Sudan, Africa, and how many marijuana plants one grows is tops on the Canadian Senate’s to-do list?? North America is used to having Canadians as our good natured, fun loving residents. Please don’t allow your senate to become as jaded as the U.S. Senate which needs to be tossed on its fat, sleazy behind (my apologies to the 14 Senators that appear to be honest & take their sworn oaths to heart). We all know that politics are fueled by greed so have a drink, smoke a cigarette and take a Vicodin – there’s a profit to be made somewhere.

  21. BC_Budman on

    Although I didn’t think it was a contest, Canada’s west coast is freer than America’s simply by the lack of enforcement by authorities. And “snobby”? I don’t where you get that. You had better come up and let us keep you blasted for a while. I’m sure a little education would help your attitude a great deal.

  22. Craig on

    So Canada’s doing a 180 and erasing its’ free-spirited reputation? Canadian cannabis crusaders are getting steamrolled by your conservative government…Emery gets locked up and it all goes downhill, eh?

    Come to America’s west coast…oddly enough, we have more freedom than you snobby northerners. Hah.

  23. Anonymous on

    FUCK YOU CONSERVATIVE BRAINLESS AMOEBAS

  24. The Balleehoo on

    All a heap of bullshit, it is.
    Won’t stop us.

  25. Disappointed Citizen on

    Really? This is where we as Canadians are going?

    Really….