Clement Votes Against Liberal Pot Law, Citing Too Many Gaps in Bill

June 8, 2017

Clement Votes Against Liberal Pot Law, Citing Too Many Gaps in Bill

June 8, 2017

OTTAWA – Parry Sound-Muskoka MP, Tony Clement, voted against the Liberals` marijuana law today at second reading, saying there are many outstanding questions, most importantly how youth will be protected and drug-impaired driving adequately addressed.

“How the Liberals will manage some serious gaps around legalizing marijuana is a deep concern. At the top of the list is how they will protect our children against the dangers of the drug, including why there`s nothing law enforcement can do, not even issue a serious caution, if minors are caught possessing small amounts of pot,” said Clement. “There are also too many unknowns on drug-impaired driving. Canadians deserve more than muddled changes to the criminal code.”

Clement said the Liberal legislation creates uncertainty in many areas, including the following:

  • Where are the details on how our kids will be protected? If the age of possession is set at 18, and the medical community says it’s not safe for people under the age of 25, how are our youth being protected from the adverse effects? There is also no evidence the black market will be curbed.
  • There is no consequence, not even a warning  provision, for minors aged 12-17 caught with under five grams of marijuana.
  • What are the costs of legalization? And is there any plan to collaborate with municipalities and provinces, or will the government just download all the responsibility and cost for implementation and enforcement to them?
  • How will the issue of roadside testing be addressed? There is currently no comparable technology to detecting alcohol impairment. What tools are going to be used for pot detection, and who will pay the costs?
  • How will this legislation impact any Canadian smoking marijuana who wants to travel into the United States?
  • Is legalization really going to take the criminal element out of pot sales? A recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) stated that when legalization of marijuana occurs, the government may be unable to keep the price of legal cannabis below the black market price on the street.

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