Bill C-45 – Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis

Bill C-45 MP John Oliver, Town Hall, August 2017, Cannabis
Bill C-45 – Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis
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John Oliver

John Oliver

John Oliver is the former President and CEO of Halton Healthcare Services, and became Oakville Riding's Member of Parliament in 2015.

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Oakville was host to a town hall meeting on Bill C-45 – the legalization and regulation of cannabis with the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health at the Operating Engineers Conference Centre on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

Local residents had the opportunity to learn about the legalization and regulation of cannabis as well as to have their questions addressed. This builds on the extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts and the work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation: Oakville Council’s View

I will continue to examine the legalization and regulation of cannabis as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA), which is in the process of reviewing expert testimony regarding Bill C-45. An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. HESA is holding a special week-long sitting prior to the House of Commons resuming in September in order to hear expert and stakeholder witness testimony on the legalization of cannabis.

Objectives of Bill C-45 (the Act)

  1. prevent young persons from accessing cannabis,
  2. protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and quality requirements
  3. deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework.

If passed, Bill C-45 would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. This bill will make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.

The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority. It is important that we view cannabis as a public health issue and not simply a legal issue.

This town hall has provided an opportunity for Oakville constituents to gain a better understanding of the legalization and regulation surrounding Bill C-45, as well as ensure that their voices on these matter are heard.

In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the government is toughening laws around alcohol and drug impaired driving. Under the proposed legislation, new offences would be added to the Criminal Code to enforce a zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs. The proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their bodies. Until the legislation receives Royal Assent, the current law in Canada remains in effect. It is illegal to sell or possess cannabis for recreational purposes.

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