Courtesy of Lift Magazine
On Friday, December 2, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, an MP from Ontario, presented an e-petition to Parliament calling for the allowance of personal production of marijuana as part of the Liberal Party’s plans for legalization.
E-Petition 115, initiated in February of this year and sponsored by Erskine-Smith, has gathered over 1500 signatures from people supporting the call to make personal production of cannabis part of the promised regulatory regime being proposed by the Liberal Party. Erskine-Smith has, in the past, broken with his party, calling for the decriminalization of marijuana in the year prior to legalization in order to ensure the immediate end of arrests.
“I’m proud to be a part of a government that ran on a platform of legalizing and regulating marijuana,” said Erskine-Smith in a debate in the House in June of this year. “Prohibition, as any expert will tell you, causes more problems than it proposes to solve.”
“The answer is a regulatory framework based on evidence, but of course, we’re moving towards legalization not now, we’re moving towards legalization a year from now, and my question for the Parliamentary Secretary is this: we face prohibition over this next year, and is not decriminalization a fairer option as a matter of scarce judicial resources and a matter of not affecting young people’s lives negatively, for no reason at all, when we’re legalizing within one year?”
In the same debate, NDP MP Murray Rankin, who introduced the opposition day measure calling on the government to decriminalize personal possession of marijuana, requested the Minister of Justice supply the statistics that show how many Canadians have received charges for basic possession since the Liberals formed Government.
“Can the Minister advise this House how many thousands of Canadians were given criminal records since the Liberals were elected in 2015?,” asked Rankin.
Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould responded that she would find out that information and present it at a later date
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith’s comments can be read and watched below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present petition e-115. Over 1,500 Canadians are calling on the government to allow for the personal production of cannabis as part of the upcoming cannabis legalization legislation. I would note that this would be an important aspect if we allow Canadians to grow five or six plants, undermining the black market, one of the key priorities of the legalization framework.
I would note, as the petitioners note, that the personal production of beer, wine, and other fermented alcohol is a legal activity for adults in Canada. Adults who choose to consume cannabis should be granted similar production rights as those who choose alcohol. We should treat Canadians like the responsible adults they are.