Bill C-45: Elizabeth May submits amendments to the Cannabis Act to protect criminalized youth, marginalized groups

(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), submitted 18 amendments to Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, which went through clause-by-clause consideration at the Standing Committee on Health this week.

Due to illness, Ms. May was unable to attend the committee meetings, and thanked Don Davies (MP, Vancouver-Kingsway) for speaking to some of her amendments.

“The war on drugs has been a failure, and I applaud the government for taking action on their campaign promise to legalize cannabis,” Ms. May said.  

“However, this legislation does not go far enough. We must ensure that Bill C-45 will not further stigmatize vulnerable populations and that those with criminal records due to cannabis prohibition are pardoned. Cannabis must be fully legalized, and the tax rate must keep costs in line with current dispensary sales if the government wants to get rid of the illicit drug market,” Ms. May concluded.

Ms. May’s amendments aimed to remove aspects of the bill that criminalized youth, to reduce overly high criminal sanctions, to remove provisions that would allow the government to reject anyone with a criminal record for cannabis offences from obtaining a license or a permit to grow or sell cannabis, and to address concerns that the proposed legislation will disproportionately affect those in marginalized groups. Unfortunately, none of Ms. May’s amendments were adopted.

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