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The cannabis community in Canada launched an electronic petition from Parliament in 2016 and this outlined a formal path for cannabis legalization. One of the paths was decriminalization where the legislation would put an end to arrests for weed and personal marijuana cultivation. This was to allow farmers in Canada to harvest things like resin.
Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party was the one who sponsored this petition, receiving more than six thousand signatures in the first week of the petition going on the Internet. People were able to sign the petition up to the first week in June of 2016. The petition eventually received thousands of signatures for reformed cannabis legalization. The petition did put a lot of pressure on the Canadian government and they acted quickly to stop and prevent arrests for marijuana possession and get the cannabis legalization to the forefront. And that is one of the reasons why cannabis legalization has been realized in Canada.
Let us take a look at what was included in the petition to make this happen and what are the things that are still in the pipeline after two years of signing the petition.
The Fast Moves
There were four points in the petition for cannabis legalization that took place quickly than others. First, the government repealed the prohibition of marijuana possession and small cultivation of weed. This was the first significant step that was taken. In so doing, the government stopped arresting people for personally possessing a small quantity of weed and growing weed for personal use. This move occurred even before the actual cannabis legalization took place. People were no longer being busted for being caught with a bag of weed or a few grown plants in the home.
The Cannabis Repeal
Secondly, the petition called for the repeal of Criminal Code, Section 462.2. This criminal code was put in place in the past to ban cannabis literature and to reduce possession of devices such as glass bongs, vaporizers and water pipes. Unfortunately for those who love to use these devices, it is still not fully embraced in Canada as yet. In fact, the police will still raid stores of business owners selling these things. Cannabis books that promote the use of weed were banned and the petition was set in place to repeal these nonsensical laws.
The Medical Patient
The petition deemed that the government should allow medical patients to provide cannabis as it was recommended by a doctor. Patients do have rights to take care of their medical needs, if they wanted to and if it meant growing weed for personal use as long as it was recommended by a doctor, then the petition was going to support this. The advocates of the petition worked diligently to prevent the government from appealing this decision, but to act quickly so as to make sure medical patients can continue to grow their weed for their health needs.
Another item in the petition is for police to stop doing raids in communities that had marijuana dispensaries. There are some marijuana dispensaries that have gone through the regimen of cannabis legalization and obeying the laws ad yet the police have launched raids on them and there are a lot of cities that are licensing these cannabis dispensaries. However, for them it is unclear what the federal laws are. The BC Municipalities Union wants the federal government to make a public and legislative confirmation of the power that cities have to regulate and license marijuana dispensaries.
Cannabis legalization in Canada and anywhere in the world has many complexities as the countries adjust to the idea of legalizing a substance that has always been thought to be dangerous. The progress is slow, but at least, there is progress.
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