The Senate has NOT Passed Bill S-10

CANNABIS CULTURE – Despite reports from the mainstream press and Cannabis Culture, Bill S-10, the Conservative legislation that includes mandatory minimum jail sentences for marijuana crimes, has NOT been passed by the Canadian Senate.

S-10 passed Committee, but the Committee report remains in the Presentation and Debate stage before third reading in the Senate.

In a Vancouver Sun article titled “Senate passes bill with mandatory jail sentence for growing 5 pot plants” Postmedia News reporter Janice Tibbetts wrote, “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.”

Cannabis Culture reposted the Sun article on Monday with further comment and information about contacting your Member of Parliament to help stop the bill from becoming Canadian law.

Upon further research by this reporter, it turns out this information was incorrect. According to government documents, Bill S-10 remains in Report Stage before third reading in the Senate. CC apologizes for reporting the incorrect information.

When I first reposted the story on Monday, I noticed that the Parliament of Canada website page for Bill S-10 showed the Senate Committee Report had not been approved, and the bill had not been through 3rd reading. Thinking the website just needed to be updated, I assumed the information from the Sun (and other activist websites) was correct.

When I saw today that the information had not changed, I called the Parliamentary Information Service who said the website had been recently updated, though they couldn’t actually confirm whether the information was correct. After a look through the Senate Hansard for November 24 and a call to the Speaker of the Senate’s office and the Office of Chamber Operations and Procedures, I can confirm that the bill has not passed and remains in the Report Presentation and Debate stage.

This is good news as it means that the possible passage of Bill S-10 will be delayed further, giving us more time to organize against it – though it will most likely be passed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stacked Senate.

The Hansard also documents discussion of an amendment to the bill proposed by Liberal Senator Charlie Watt to address what he called “a tradition” in the Canadian Criminal Code called the Gladue principle.

“Under this principle, judges are mandated under section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code to look for alternatives to jail for Aboriginal offenders.” Watt told his fellow Senators (originally in Inuktitut). “Judges have been instructed to pay specific attention to the circumstances surrounding Aboriginal offenders during sentencing. The minister stated that Bill S-10 will override the Gladue principles and that the mandatory minimum will apply to all people.”

The proposed amendment reads:

A court sentencing an aboriginal person who is convicted of an offence under this Part is not required to impose the minimum punishment for the offence if the court is satisfied that

(a) the minimum punishment would be unduly harsh, having regard to the circumstances of the aboriginal offender; and

(b) another sanction that is reasonable in the circumstances is available.

(7) If, under subsection (6), the court decides not to impose a minimum punishment, it shall give reasons for that decision.”

Discussion of the amendment was adjourned until a later date.

Bill S-10 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.


Please contact your Senator and Member of Parliament and tell them to VOTE NO on Bill S-10. No mandatory minimums for marijuana!

Find a link to your Senator’s contact info on this list – or call them all!

Find your Member of Parliament’s contact info 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 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.



  1. Anonymous on

    It is high time for a national ‘REEFERENDUM’ regarding marijuana possession criminal laws to decide what Canadians really want. Is Canada to follow the footsteps of the good old usa? The great punisher. why punish tax paying citizens for what they do behind closed doors. what is happening with bill S-10 is totally un-democratic, similar to what happened when pot laws were implemented early last century. Funny how alcohol is never mentioned in drug awareness ads. Hypocritical?
    To start 2011 New Years Eve, we we went a local pub. Everything was fine until a bunch of punks went crazy on liquor and all hell broke loose and a major brawl broke out. Not pretty. From a lifetime of experiences, i know this would never have happened if these guys were just smoking pot. This is just a small example of the effects of the most dangerous drug on our streets, alcohol.
    the government should get it’s priorities right. S-10 laws will only create more job opportunities to persecute tax paying citizens like myself who enjoy a toke of pot in the comfort of my own home, with no kids around.
    I am sick of the Americans crying fowl at human right issues around the globe, while they have persecuted and imprisoned thousands for the simple crime of pot possession. In my opinion, this is a human right issue and now we, Canadians are going to follow suit. This is not what most Canadians want but unfortunately most are afraid to speak up or be seen protesting for fear of reprisals. Is this democracy in action. this affects millions of Canadians whose opinion differs from the government. do they care about the average Canadian? No. If they want our opinion they will give it to us. It is win at all cost. Too many jobs are at stake here.
    Push for a REFERENDUM. Fight for true democracy, a never ending affair.
    Pot smokers will never have rights in canada if we don’t speak out. The sad truth is that someone entering Canada illegaly has more rights than us.
    Frankford, Ontario

  2. Anonymous on

    YELLINg IS AUDIO, CAPITAL LETTERS ARE A CHOICE OF LETTERS! What credibility does anybody have who is against S-10? After this many disasters, who from an anti-S-10 group would consider being respected and listened to by anybody with the power to help change anything???? Are you a politician? Have you been brutally attacked by police for a few odd eye movements??? I’m pretty sure any politician will tell you to go elsewhere when these issues are addressed to them vocally. They will not do anything about it, this is what is going on, and not ‘bow and suck cock for your laws’! If communism is taking over, who’s attacking anyones personality? Apparently in the police state a personality won’t exist for anybody towards the political rampage. HArsh wording is Reality, Soft wording is whipped little bitch….
    How difficult will the government make it for all of these people to express themselves, a loud voice gets you thrown in prison! A soft voice gets you raped in prison, and a’ monotone’ neutral voice scares anybody and gets you anything you want when using it! The flatlined electric waveform of the voice box can make hypnosis possible and cause panic! TEXT is MONO already! VOICE is VARIANT! Controlling your voice is harder than a keyboard, if you have the knowledge to feel the vibe, the vibe that cannabis heals, the only waveform that exists for human brain activity is available from cannabis…… maybe the Capital outrage message was someone who was sober while typing it! Fortunately, the internet can deal with comments like this….. but isn’t it a capitol issue since S-10 is a Federal law?

  3. Anonymous on

    Stupid comments like this only harm the credibility of those who are against S-10 because it makes it appear as though we’re all goofballs like you who can’t produce sensible arguments and have to resort to “YELLING” and using personal attacks.

  4. Anonymous on

    I wrote to my member of parliament about what horrible effects I believe S-10 will have if it is passed. I got a polite reply that paid lip service to my letter. My member of parliament is a Liberal and I know that the Liberals voted for this bill last time it was before parliament (C-15), so I expect they’ll do so again. The Liberals are afraid of triggering and losing an election.

    We need more people to write more letters. I’ve sent my long, well researched letter to a number of people, including the Prime Minister, leaders of the Liberals and NDP and a few senators.

  5. johnny C on

    It seems with comments like “S10 will likely pass” and with the admitted mistake of saying S10 already has passed I am questioning the credibility of the “reporting”. Are we reading editorials or fact finding journalism? I like to stay informed and not told what to think especially when the facts were initially wrong.

  6. Anonymous on

    The marijuana laws are unfaithful. To the moral standards to having a perfect justice system what actually corrects, instead of putting the matter aside. Or in a judgement the government has yet to understand.

    Check out video Mr. Nice A Video Diary !

    He vacays to visits Jamaica , Amsterdam.

    Views Ganja Fields, Coffee Shops. NO FIREARMS, ONLY LIGHTERS!

  7. Worm on

    Very harsh


  8. Anonymous on


  9. Anonymous on

    Another error made was that bills pass through senate first and then the house of commons. House of commons is the lower house where bills are passed first. If it is already in the senate chances are this bill will become law.

  10. Barker Ingram on

    Uh what exactly is your point? I think ya lost me.

  11. Johnny C on

    I’m sorry to insult anyone but an error in reporting seems to be a symptom of a larger problem. There is a sense of defeat and a breakdown in reporting:

    “though it will most likely be passed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stacked Senate.”
    “I assumed the information from the Sun (and other activist websites) was correct.”

    There is a difference between reporting and editorial reporting. “we” are making excuses for what “we” expect will happen. Could you start a blog to judge what people think of your opinion and keep the reporting to actual facts. Please avoid referring to yourself in the third person like “this reporter” if you want to report an unbiased account of a story.

    I still think S-10 can be defeated for reasons COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO CANNABIS. People do not want to walk into a $30 billion+ prison infrastructure upgrade to lock up non-dangerous offenders. As insulting as this may sound I only want to help you realize with every mistake made in reporting Cannabis Culture losses credibility as a viable source of news. You join the ranks of Rush Limbaugh and become more opinion news looking for followers than a medium for people to find stories related too and ignored by mainstream media.

    Free Marc

  12. The BallyHoo on

    Sounds like a good reason to get off your ass, and get ”SOMETHING” organized!!!!!!!!!!!
    Of course it is ”all for the love of money”.
    What isn’t ?

    Marijuana will never be completely legal.
    Who needs it legal anyway?
    I have never had a problem buying, selling, or smoking weed.

    Street rallies do nothing to motivate politicians. They never have.
    If the ”movement” had hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating, maybe it would have a small effect. As it stands, there just isn’t enough activists. Not enough people care that much about it. They say they do, but they don’t.

    Stay away from the law,
    Stay safe!

  13. Anonymous on

    Quote from


    MMS are generally inconsistent with the fundamental principle that a sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender,(2) as they do not allow a judge to make any exception in an appropriate case. However, this does not necessarily mean that an MMS is unconstitutional. An MMS constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if it is possible for the MMS, in a specific matter or reasonable hypothetical case, to be “grossly disproportionate,” given the gravity of the offence or the personal circumstances of the offender.

    By way of example, the Supreme Court of Canada concluded in 1987 that an MMS of seven years for importing or exporting a narcotic constituted cruel and unusual punishment because it failed to take into account the nature and quantity of the substance, the reason for the offence, or the absence of any previous convictions.(3) The applicable provision was accordingly struck down. Conversely, the current MMS of four years for criminal negligence causing death, where a firearm is used, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2000 on the basis that such an offence necessarily involves wanton and reckless disregard for life and safety.(4)”

    So Harper and Nicholson want us to believe that throwing us in prison for growing a few Cannabis plants or baking a few brownies is perfectly acceptable when, in fact, there are numerous hypothetical cases in which a prison sentence of any kind would be grossly disproportionate. Suppose granny doesn’t want to have to smoke the ditchweed Health Canada sold to her and would rather eat a brownie. Does that sound like a situation that warrants a prison term? Or suppose a person doesn’t want to pay exorbitant street prices for weed so he grows 6 or 7 plants in a rented apartment. Again, any prison time at all is grossly disproportionate and unacceptable to a civilized population. Harper and Nicholson want to simply do away with such niceties as the Charter of Rights and freedoms and make up his own arbitrary laws and sentences. Are we just gonna take that? Oh hell no. Incidentally, the same linked page gives a list of crimes that already have mandatory minimums and producing or distributing child porn only carries a one year minimum while baking brownies carries an 18 month sentence, if Harper isn’t stopped.

  14. Jr on

    Write your members of parliament! Tell your friends and family about the Conservatives agenda with Bill S-10 and Prison building. This Bill will take years to get rid of if it gets passed. The gov will tell you that they are focusing on the big time growers and dealers. It is B.S. They are coming after all of us, people who make hash, or edibles should be very worried about this bill, as it will be 18 months for you! Otherwise, See yall in jail!

  15. Anonymous on

    This is good news as it means that the possible passage of Bill S-10 will be delayed further, giving us more time to organize against it – though it will most likely be passed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stacked Senate.

    After searching the internet. Only groups I have been able to find. Doing rally’s, street meets, also I see they are holding great events at there local university(UVIC). This is from a group in Victoria, called Hempology101. Hummm
    I know Jodie has been busy with Marc and everything. But really, is or was Marc the only real activist, who could get something organized. How much time do we need, before it is passed. Not just CC, the major cities in this country. Most of our votes are in Ontario , Quebec.
    Has everyone just been so happy, to have medical, to have cafes, to have vapour lounges. Has the movement just become all for the love of money.
    If S-10 passes, forget Marc ever serving his time in Canada. All the Canadian jails will be full. Help Marc Emery, by helping Stop S-10.