CANADA’S BILL C-45 STILL CRIMINALIZES CANNABIS USE, TARGETS THE YOUNG AND UNDERPRIVILEGED
A representative of the Canadian Bar Association says that Bill C-45 does not really legalize Cannabis, instead introducing new severe punishments on users. Instead, it discriminates against the young, the underprivileged, who still must fear prison sentences as long as 14 years for non-violent Cannabis offences. We agree completely.
As the Allard Ruling and others have shown, our best friend in Canada is our judiciary and members of the legal profession, standing up for our rights when politicians are only concerned with lining their pockets.
The Canadian Bar Association represents over 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers, and law students from across Canada, serving the country since 1896.
“The message that Canadians have is that cannabis will be legal soon. This is not true,” said Paul J. Calarco, a member of the Canadian Bar Association.
There are still serious criminal punishments associated with marijuana in the bill – some as severe as 14 years in jail.
Rather than legalizing recreational marijuana, as many Canadians believe it will, Bill C-45 would continue to criminalize and stigmatize marijuana use, the panel testified.
The bill would also discriminate against young people, underprivileged people, and permanent residents who would be put at a higher risk of being deported, the committee heard.
Punishing young people criminally for something that is legal for adults should “be found to be unconstitutional,” said Michael Spratt of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.
This bill seems more concerned with helping already privileged people collect a profit than it is about reversing the historic injustices of marijuana prohibition, said Annamaria Enenajor of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.
To illustrate the absurdity of marijuana criminalization, Spratt said that he has had clients who are routinely turned away from the American border because of small marijuana offences – some decades old. “But I have clients who are convicted of manslaughter who make it through the border no problem,” he said.