2020- 2022 Policy Process | Green Party of Canada
Where GPC membership collaborates to develop our policies
G21-P041 Relieve Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System of the Portfolio of Cannabis Prosecution
The Green Party of Canada will remove hemp, recreational, and medicinal cannabis from the purview of law enforcement, ending arrests and raids on cannabis growers, users and sellers.
The Green Party of Canada will grant amnesty to those charged with, and expunge criminal records of, former cannabis convictions.
Relieve law enforcement and the criminal justice system of the portfolio of cannabis prosecution. Objectives are harm reduction, racial justice, medical autonomy, mitigation of ecological crises and transition to a prosperous green economy. Limit cannabis regulations to those of other non-lethal drugs such as coffee, ideally; fair trade, organic standards.
By removing cannabis from the purview of law enforcement, the debate of whether, or how cannabis should be removed from the criminal code or controlled substances act is circumvented. The harm (disproportionately borne by people of colour) of being arrested, fined, beaten, or having medicine confiscated by police, is reduced.
Supporting Comments from Submitter
Removing cannabis from the purview of law enforcement circumvents the debatable questions of whether and when cannabis should be removed from the controlled substances act or the criminal code. When cannabis is fully legal it is a widely accessible and utilisable resource. Law enforcement for cannabis offences can end, saving billions of dollars and countless hours for the criminal justice system. That money can be re-allocated to the community and people who need it most. Criminal records can be expunged and amnesty granted.
The growth, sale and use of a non-toxic, non-lethal substance should not be a crime. Cannabis is a medicinal herb, generally regarded as safe, with zero recorded deaths due to overdose or toxicity in over 5000 years of recorded medical use. Medical cannabis treats many ailments including cancer, while pain-killing and anti-inflammatory qualities can help people wean off opioids and other prescription painkillers with minimal side-effects.
Hemp is a versatile crop which produces food, fuel, building materials, paper, cloth and plastics. Cannabis can be Canada's most beneficial and prosperous industry while mitigating multiple crises. It can clean the soil of contaminants and radioactivity, reduce erosion and is a carbon sink. The continued law enforcement of cannabis regulations justifies overregulation of hemp, causing more onerous restrictions on growing and using this resource, which effectively prevents hemp from becoming the green energy powerhouse with potential to mitigate climate change that it is.
Cannabis arrests disproportionately target people of colour and the poor, resulting in incarcerations, fines, criminal records, beatings and deaths; an undue burden for the already disadvantaged, their families and communities. Police budgets are over-funded for prosecuting "legal" offences. The greatest harm of cannabis is law enforcement related, especially for teens for whom pot use is still illegal.
Bill C-45 created a legal market for those who are able to afford millions of dollars of licensing and infrastructure requirements, shutting out operations such as medicinal cannabis dispensaries with raids, closure, fines and arrests. Raids by police continue to cause undue hardship to compassion clubs and Indigenous-owned medical cannabis dispensaries. Over-regulation and prohibitively expensive licensing requirements will be replaced by business licenses and lab-testing of samples for cannabinoid levels, contaminants and quality. Each First Nation community will govern their own cannabis policy.
Ecological Wisdom, Sustainability, Social Justice, Respect for Diversity, Non-Violence
Relation to Existing Policy
Rescind and replace 1988 - Cannabis Law Reform
List of Endorsements
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