Pubdate: Thu, 21 Oct 2010
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Janice Tibbetts, Postmedia News


A Conservative bill to jail offenders caught growing five or more
marijuana plants was back before the Senate Wednesday, a year after it
made the rare move of watering down the government's proposals by
raising the bar to 200 plants.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson ignored the Senate amendments when he
resurrected his proposed legislation last spring, and the upper
chamber, which has fewer Liberals than it did a year ago, has less
muscle this time around.

Nicholson warned a Senate committee Wednesday that amending his
proposed legislation again "would severely weaken the bill" so that a
person involved in organized crime could have 150 plants in several
locations and escape jail nonetheless.

"This is directed at traffickers, the people who would sell drugs to
children," Nicholson said. He said that there is no way that someone
who grows 150 plants does not intend to sell marijuana, although he
acknowledged it could be harder to prove trafficking when a grower is
caught with seven plants. His bill, if passed, would impose mandatory
incarceration for a variety of drug-related crimes for the first time
in Canada, adding to more than two dozen criminal offences that
already carry automatic imprisonment.  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D