STOP BILL C-15: Liberals Team With Conservatives to Pass a Nasty New Drug Law

CANNABIS CULTURE – On June 8, Canada’s Parliament passed a new set of mandatory minimum penalties for a variety of marijuana and drug offences.

CLICK HERE to help stop Bill C-15!

The new law now goes to the Senate, where it will likely be approved. Even though Canada’s Senate has many members who oppose prohibition, it is extremely rare for the Senate to block a bill passed by Parliament, especially when it has the support of both Liberals and Conservatives.

According to Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, the law is aimed at “serious drug traffickers, the people who are basically out to destroy our society.”


“This bill is clearly targeted at the low-level dealers,” said Libby Davies, NDP House Leader. “It is simply really bad public policy. It is going to increase the prison population, particularly the provincial prison population, because most of these mandatory sentences that are two years or less will be under the provincial jurisdiction.”

Davies explained how the Liberals teamed with the Conservatives to stop the bill from being amended.

“In committee, the NDP put forward 21 amendments that tried to remove some of the worst aspects of the bill, by changing the regime of mandatory minimums, for example, and getting an exemption for medical marijuana for compassion clubs.”

“I am so disappointed that those amendments did not go through,” continued Davies. “The Liberal members on the committee failed to respond to those amendments and failed to support them, which really surprises me.”


A number of prominent Liberals are challenging their party’s support for this bill. Dozens of bloggers, riding association presidents and other party members have publicly complained about Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff pressuring the party to back the new law.

Yet when it came to the vote, every Liberal present voted for the bill, except for Liberal MP Keith Martin, who supports decriminalization. Martin abstained from the vote. The NDP and Bloc all voted against it.

“In the context of some occasions where the sentences have not been appropriate, we’re in support of C-15,” said Ignatieff. “We support stronger measures.”



Schedule I, which already included substances like opiates and cocaine, is expanded to include methamphetamine and GHB.


The following minimum penalties will only apply when the hash-making or pot-growing is being done “for trafficking purposes.” However, under the law, trafficking includes sharing with friends. So unless you can prove that you were going to use every last gram all by yourself, it will be considered trafficking.

Making hash: 1 year mandatory minimum
Growing 5-200 cannabis plants: 6 months
Growing 201-500 plants: 1 year
Growing 501 or more plants: 2 years

If you live in a rental home, or if there are children in the grow home, or if the judge just deems your garden to be a “potential public safety hazard,” then the minimum penalties are lengthened as follows:

Making hash: 18 months
5-200 plants: 9 months
210-500 plants: 18 moths
501+ plants: 3 years


Producing any amount of a Schedule I substance gets a mandatory minimum of two years. (This includes growing opium poppies and coca plants.)


If a person in jail is caught selling or sharing any Schedule I substance, they get an automatic 2 years added to their sentence.

Anyone caught selling or sharing a Schedule I substance on or near a school grounds would get a 2 year mandatory minimum sentence. This would include a student selling or sharing with another student.

Selling any Schedule I substance “near any public place usually frequented by people under the age of 18” gets a 2 year mandatory sentence. No definition of “near” is given, neither is it defined what exactly is meant by “a public place frequented by people under the age of 18.” This vague law could easily cover most of the city and catch many people unawares. Once again, this applies to a youth who shares or sells to another youth.

A second conviction for trafficking in over 3 kilos of marijuana or hash within a ten-year period will get a mandatory 1 year sentence.


Get caught mailing a few grams across the border? Exporting or importing any amount of marijuana gets a mandatory 1 year in jail.

Exporting or importing up to a a kilo of coca leaf, cocaine, opium or heroin gets a year mandatory imprisonment. Over a kilo gets an automatic 2 years in jail.


At the outset, I wish to state that the CBA opposes the use of mandatory minimum sentences on the basis that they do not advance the goals of deterrence; they do not target the most serious of offenders, who are already sentenced stiffly; they catch less culpable offenders, subjecting them to lengthy terms of imprisonment; they have a disproportionate impact on those minority groups who are already disadvantaged; and they subvert important aspects of the sentencing regime, including the principles of proportionality and the individualization of the sentencing process.

For example, a young adult occasional user of marijuana who is growing ten plants for his own use and to share with some friends attracts an MMS of six months. We would say that this sentence violates the principle of proportionality and the importance of rehabilitation.

A person making a small amount of cannabis resin for use and to share with friends would be subject to an MMS of one year and to 18 months if he did so in a house that he was renting. The legislation apparently fails to address a situation in which the third party owner of the property is aware of and complicit in the use of the property for the offence.

Bill C-15 also imposes escalating levels of incarceration depending upon the number of plants an individual grows for trafficking. For instance, this bill would require an MMS of six months for 200 plants, yet twelve months for 201 plants. It is contrary to common sense and well-established sentencing principles for a person to receive double the length of a sentence for a difference of one plant.

We believe the impact upon the administration of justice of this bill, if it is passed, will be significant. Fewer people will plead guilty, preferring to contest the charges rather than be subject to an automatic mandatory minimum sentence upon pleading guilty. This will increase the length of time it takes for cases to be heard in the courts, increase the number of trials, and inevitably increase the strain on court resources.

Given the significant prison terms proposed within Bill C-15, the crown should be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating factors triggering an MMS as well as the mens rea component of those aggravating factors; for example, the requisite degree of awareness of the number of plants, or the fact that the offence was being committed at or near a school or at a place usually frequented by those under the age of 18.

We point out the lack of a definition with respect to “in or near a school”, or places “usually frequented” by those under 18. We make the point that the crown ought to be required to prove not only the mens rea of the offence itself but also that with respect to the aggravating factor that would trigger a mandatory minimum sentence.


Please call or email your Senators and tell them to vote NO! on BILL C-15

Click here for a list of all Canadian Senators – click names for contact info.

WhyProhibition has added emailers for each Province, simply click on your Province or Territory of to email your Senators to demand they vote No on C-15.

If your province or Territory isn’t listed, it means we don’t have any members from your area! Login or Register and get your friends to do the same, we want to have every City, Electoral District, Region, Territory and Province represented before the next election!

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Nova Scotia

British Columbia


Updated on June 10, 2009



  1. Traffic School on

    Every time the government gets involved with drug laws it is nasty no matter what

  2. Anonymous on

    It’s not that, it’s just that the vast majority of stoners simply lack the initiative…

  3. Anonymous on

    only if you can’t prove that it’s personal…. and i’m pretty sure there is a limit to what you can call personal i would assume under 5-7 grams you might be ok…..

  4. Jim on

    Does this bill punish possession?

  5. stoner form the states on

    I was just wondering if anyone has thought of sending them a copy of this statement or a version of it

    The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894) to the British government, comprising some seven volumes and 3,281 pages, is by far the most complete and systematic study of marijuana undertaken to date. Many of the issues concerning marijuana being argued in the United States today were dealt with in the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report.

    “Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs ” : From the report.

    The English approach was that if people were doing something you didn’t want them to, that wasn’t covered by the commandments, you taxed it and made it expensive. Putting them in jail would only cost the government to no benefit.

  6. Adam on

    I have nothing extreme to say this time. I just want to say that I am really disappointed in how our government tries to protect us. We can protect ourselves from these types of things and we don’t want to hate our politicians. They are members of our families and I just want them to treat us that way.

  7. Anonymous on

    don’t even bother now, you wacko, the cops troll this place like you can’t imagine.

  8. STOP C-15 on

    The making hash law is absolutely fucking ridiculous, 1 YEAR FOR MAKING HASH
    what the fuck
    oh well how are they gonna bust you if you’re making hash in you’re home anyway…

  9. Anonymous on

    lol I could swear that was just Barry Cooper 😛
    all good tips though, buy his DVDs. I never expected to find so many fresh quality tips but Cooper drops a LOT of bombs on his DVDs.
    And if you want to test his character, torrent them, he owes it you anyway. 😉

  10. Anonymous on

    I hear you man …. fuck harper hes a fuckin goof…

  11. Anonymous on

    Can any one tell me what they are handing out in court in Ontario for possession of a small amount of pot,(couple joints).The only recent case I can find is a guy getting a $500 fine, for what was described as a small amount.

  12. Anonymous on

    I am just going to do what I am going to do.
    In their fight against nature and God, they are destined to lose.
    Don’t impose your will on others and fight injustice with nonviolent civil disobedience.
    Tune in, tune on and drop out. Those old control freaks will day one day.

  13. Anonymous on

    Might as well grow a full 200 plants now, you’ll get the same as if you grow 6. The only way they can catch anyone is if somebody has seen your grow and reports it anyway. Just don’t let anybody see your grow. Aside from that, it would have to be a freak occurrence like a fire or something that leads to its discovery. They can’t use FLIR anymore to see the heat coming from the lights. Don’t throw anything in the garbage that could be used as evidence. Mostly, don’t grow if you have a girlfriend living in the place. When you break up they’ll be eager to turn you in.

  14. Anonymous on

    This is such BS.
    There’s just two words you’ll have to remember: Not Guilty.

    Fuck you Harper, you facsist cunt!
    Fuck you Ignatieff , you cowardly bitch!

  15. Anonymous on

    Is there not enough weed smokers of voting age in Canada that we can get on board a political party and change this insane law.I have been a Liberal supporter (voted for them), but now there is no differance between them and the conservatives (Reform party).Now who do i vote for, the green or ndp?

  16. Wunderful on

    Anyone have 501+ seeds for a very quick strain that will fully mature between now and when it passes through the senate?

    Is there the possibility that an impromptu election could disrupt and possibly shelf this evil bill for as long as possible?

  17. serge on

    price of pot just went up few hundred dollars lol. thats one thing thats going to happen and only the ones with balls are gonna grow and that is organize crime, gangs,ect,ect,