Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu. Submitted Photo.

Local MP Takes Issue With Liberal Pot Bill

Sarnia Lambton’s MP believes the cannabis act is “seriously flawed.”

Marilyn Gladu, who serves as the critic for health in the Conservative Party shadow cabinet, says regardless of which side of the legalization issue you’re on, there are things in Bill C-45 that are concerning.

“For example, children ages 12-17 can possess up to 5 g of marijuana,” says Gladu.

She says that sends the wrong message.

“We know that for kids, up to 25 even, the Canadian Medical Association has said there’s a 30% chance of increased schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, depression, addiction — and so we want to make sure the message to children is this is harmful for you and you shouldn’t have any. So that’s one thing the bill needs to address,” she says.

While youth could possess up to 5 g, it would have to be for medicinal purposes because the province says it will prohibit individuals under the age of 19 from possessing or consuming recreational cannabis.

Gladu brought forward an amendment earlier this week to delete the section on home grow from the legislation.

“We heard a lot of testimony from police, from landlords and real estate associations that they have a huge issue here,” says Gladu.

She says in the legislation, the government is allowing for the growth of four plants — anything over that would be subject to criminal charges.

“Police are saying they can’t really enforce this law and they think there will be a lot of nuisance neighbour complaints. Joe has five plants not four. Also, the amount of marijuana that you could have on four plants — when they used to have a height restriction in the bill, they took that out — would have been 600 g.”

She says that’s too much to have in a house, possibly around children, with no provision for storage or lockup.

Gladu hopes the governing Liberals will slow down and address these concerns before legalizing marijuana for recreational use on July 1, 2018.