Letter From Canadian Senate Leader on Bill C-15

Here’s a letter I sent to the Leader of the Government in the Senate about bill C-15, and her response.

Dear Senator

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives new Crime Bill, C-15, is based on outdated ideologies that have been proven not to work in the USA and if enacted would result in the imprisonment of thousands of Canadians for something that an earlier Senate Committee concluded should not be a crime. I am sure you are familiar with this report:



“…the Committee concludes that the state of knowledge supports the belief that, for the vast majority of recreational users, cannabis use presents no harmful consequences for physical, psychological or social well-being in either the short or the long term.”

Mandatory minimums for cannabis related “crimes” would be a burden on the Canadian Justice System, and a crime against Canadians. What Canada needs and wants is regulated and taxed marijuana. More than a dozen US states have legalized medical marijuana and 3 have a booming business in marijuana dispensaries, there are more cannabis dispensaries in LA than Starbucks, with no threat to public interest. Currently California Governor Arnold Schwartzenagar is calling for a State debate on full Legalization,and it is only a mater of time before California legalizes, and other States seeing the economic potential will soon follow suite. This is exactly the way prohibition of alcohol fell in the USA. Canada must not be left out of this new and inevitable economy.

The Senate of Canada, in all good conscience and in the best interest of Canadian, can not allow this ideological Bill to pass, and instead has to stand by its own report on the matter at hand.

Chris Bennett

Here is the response from the Office of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Marjory LeBreton):

Senator LeBreton’s Assistant also sent this C-15 penalties chart (which is actually incorrect: Under ANNEX B in the “Offence” column it should read “Production – 5-200 plants”, as amended in the House).

Chris Bennett
Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett has been researching the historical role of cannabis in the spiritual life of humanity for more than a quarter of a century. He is co-author of Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion (1995); Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible (2001); and author of Cannabis and the Soma Solution (2010); and Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal herbs and the Occult (2018) . He has also contributed chapters on the the historical role of cannabis in spiritual practices in books such as The Pot Book (2010), Entheogens and the Development of Culture (2013), Seeking the Sacred with Psychoactive Substances (2014), One Toke Closer to God (2017), Cannabis and Spirituality (2016) and Psychedelics Reimagined (1999). Bennett’s research has received international attention from the BBC , Guardian, Sunday Times, Washington Post, Vice and other media sources. He currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.