Less Than A Month Before The Cannabis Act Goes Up For Its Final Vote In Canada, The Opposition Is Strengthening

At the end of May, the Cannabis Act is up for its final vote in the Canadian Senate. If passed, recreational cannabis will become legal on a federal level in Canada - but the opposition is holding out against this.

Indigenous Peoples Speak Out

The Committee on Aboriginal Peoples has become one of the more vocal opponents to the Cannabis Act, claiming that the federal government failed to properly consult Indigenous Peoples in the drafting of the legislation. They want to see revisions to the act that would allow for Indigenous communities to have more say in how cannabis is handled in their communities, with one-fifth of cannabis production licenses being given to companies that operate on Indigenous lands.

They would also like to see any cannabis tax revenue shared with First Nations, for more public education material to be developed and increased funding for Indigenous mental health and addictions programs before moving ahead.

They are calling for a year-long delay in order for the proposed revisions and programs to be hammered out.

Resistance To Home Cultivation

The Senate’s Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs takes issue with the private cannabis cultivation the Act would allow. Under the current legislation, individuals could grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes, but the committee would like to see full prohibition on homegrown weed.

The provinces of Manitoba and Quebec have already decided to make that move.

Concern For Cross-Border Travelers

The Committee on National Security and Defence is looking for the federal government to reach an agreement with US authorities on what kind of consequences Canadian travelers will face if attempting to cross the border with cannabis.

Party Politics

Some Canadian politicians - such as independent Senator Tony Dean - are claiming that most of the opposition to the Cannabis Act is party politics, with the Conservative Party doing their best to hold up the legislation.

"There has been political posturing since Day One. Conservatives on the Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs are determined to reduce the scope of the bill or delay it," Dean told Leafly.

"I think the Conservatives are looking at this issue through the lens of the next election. But there is a point where you must put politics aside. Put on your senator hat and do your job. Behave like an adult," said Dean. "I haven’t seen that yet."

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