KENORA – Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding), issued the following statement in support of Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act:
“I believe the time has come to regulate the legal sale of cannabis. Today, over 699,000 Canadians have a criminal record as a result of convictions related to possessing small amounts of cannabis. When we look at statistics related to convictions and the continued use of cannabis, it shows very clearly that the current approach is not working. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth. The reality is that in many cases, it is easier for kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes or liquor.
“The proposed legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use small amounts of cannabis while protecting our young people at the same time. Our proposed legislation would restrict the sale of cannabis to children under 18 years of age, and ban products and packaging that may appeal to them. The Act would also put in place serious criminal penalties for those who sell cannabis to youth. In the last year alone, 21 percent of our youth report having used cannabis, so we need to take our time and get this legislation right to ensure that cannabis is kept out of the reach of our children.
“I was extremely pleased to see the legislation pass in the House of Commons yesterday, and largely supported along party lines. As this Bill continues to be debated in the Senate, I am confident that once Bill-45 becomes law, it will better control and regulate the production, sale, and possession of cannabis.
“We have been listening to Canadians and we have already accepted three amendments to the Bill made by the Commons committee studying this legislation. To build on the extensive consultations already conducted by the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, a new online consultation process has been launched so that Canadians can voice their opinion. I want to encourage Northerners to express their opinions during this stage of the consultation process.”
To participate in the online consultation process, click here.