Canada needs a moratorium on all cannabis-related offences

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize cannabis in Canada but has not given a timeline.

Meanwhile, police continue to arrest Canadians for marijuana offences.

The Cannabis Culture Activist Network is calling on Trudeau and the Liberals to place an immediate moratorium on all cannabis-related arrests until legalization reforms are implemented.

Furthermore, we call for the release of all those imprisoned in Canada for cannabis-related offences and for the government to expunge the criminal records of all those convicted of cannabis crimes.

WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR? 

How exactly can the government stop marijuana arrests right now? Lawyers familiar with cannabis law in Canada tell us there are two ways:

1. The Prime Minister or Minister of Justice could instruct the RCMP and city police forces to deprioritize cannabis. 

2. The federal government could amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to remove cannabis.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can help by sending a polite message to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals using these links:

SIGN THE OFFICIAL E-PETITION

CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 

SEND A LETTER TO THE MEDIA

MEDIA REPORTS 

"Activist seeking moratorium on marijuana arrests while feds figure out legalization"NEWSTALK 1010

"Pot activist demands moratorium on marijuana arrests"iNews880

"While Canada waits for legalization, marijuana activists call for moratorium on arrests" – The Georgia Straight 

"Liberals Should Immediately Legalize Marijuana Possession and Expunge Criminal Records: NDP Justice Critic"Cannabis Culture


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Perhaps the page could be edited to include this content. and ‘SIGN THE OFFICIAL E-PETITION’ could link to this https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-18

    http://www.legalizepetition.ca/

    ALL ABOUT THE PETITION

    Many members of the cannabis community worked together to craft this official petition, and make sure it was as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. (Click here to sign now.)

    Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has sponsored our petition, so that we have official standing in Parliament.

    The Parliament Petition has eight key points, four of which can happen right away, and four that could take a year or so to put into place.

    1. Stop arrests for possession and personal growing. 5. Take cannabis out of the CDSA.
    2. End the ban on bongs. 6. Let farmers grow cannabis.
    3. Let patients grow cannabis. 7. Amnesty for cannabis criminal records.
    4. Stop raiding dispensaries. 8. Let provinces & cities regulate.

    The first four points, which should happen right away, are:

    1. STOP ARRESTS: Repeal the prohibition on possession and personal cultivation of cannabis.

    This the most important first step and could be done very quickly. We are calling for the Liberal government to immediately stop all arrests for cannabis possession, and for growing cannabis for personal use. There is no need to keep busting people with a bag of cannabis, or with a few plants, when legalization is just around the corner.

    2. END THE BAN ON BONGS: Repeal Section 462.2 of the Criminal Code, which bans literature and harm reduction devices like waterpipes and vaporizers.

    Unbelievably, bongs and waterpipes are still banned in Canada, and stores still get raided by police for selling these items. (See here, here and here for example.) Books which promote the use of cannabis are also still banned. It makes sense to repeal these silly laws right away.

    3. LET PATIENTS GROW: Permit patients or their designated grower to provide medical cannabis as recommended by a physician.

    This third point is related to the recent court decision which has reaffirmed the right of patients to meet their own medical needs by growing their own cannabis as recommended by a physician. We don’t want the government to appeal this decision, and instead to act quickly to ensure that patients can keep growing their own cannabis as needed.

    4. STOP RAIDING DISPENSARIES: End police raids against community medical cannabis dispensaries, and enable their municipal regulation, as per the position of the Union of BC Municipalities.

    There are hundreds of community medical cannabis dispensaries opening in cities and towns across Canada. Generally they are operating openly without problems, but in some areas the RCMP has been threatening them or launching raids. Many cities are licensing these dispensaries, but the federal laws are unclear.

    The Union of BC Municipalities has asked the federal government to confirm the power of cities to license and regulate dispensaries, and we support that move happening right away.

    The next four points are things which we want the Liberals to put into place within one year.

    5. TAKE CANNABIS OUT OF CDSA: Completely end the prohibition of cannabis, by removing it entirely from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

    To truly end cannabis prohibition, cannabis needs to be removed entirely from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Laws and regulations around cannabis should be similar to the laws around alcohol, tobacco, food products and herbal medicines.

    6. LET FARMERS GROW CANNABIS: Allow farmers to harvest and sell the cannabinoid-rich resin from their plants, as per the recent resolution of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

    Canadian farmers already grow large amounts of cannabis, mainly to produce seeds for food products. These farmers also produce large amount of CBD-rich resin which they are forced to destroy.

    The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance has asked the government for permission to harvest and sell this resin for medical purposes, and this would provide a large amount of low-priced CBD for patients in need.

    7. AMNESTY FOR CRIMINAL RECORDS: For those convicted for a cannabis offence under the CDSA, on a case-by-case basis: Grant a full pardon and amnesty for past offences, expunge criminal records and release all prisoners currently serving time.

    Ending cannabis prohibition must also make right the mistakes of the past. When we legalize cannabis we must not forget those who are still in jail now for cannabis, or the many Canadians with cannabis criminal records. We want a quick and easy process for Canadians to apply to have their cannabis criminal records expunged.

    8. LET PROVINCES & CITIES REGULATE: Permit Provinces, Territories and First Nations to decide how they want to tax, regulate and distribute cannabis as needed.

    This final point is that we don’t want to see a restrictive federal program in place for cannabis. Like alcohol and tobacco, legal cannabis falls mainly under provincial jurisdiction. We want to see the provinces, municipalities and first nations being responsible for regulating the sale of cannabis.

    This will also open up the possibility of different systems, enabling different regions to experiment with different models as we figure out the best model for legal cannabis.