Pubdate: Thu, 18 May 2017
Source: Sherwood Park News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Osprey Media
Author: Heather Maki


Re: "Marijuana law doesn't protect kids," April 21, Opinion - Sherwood 
Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis, The News:

Genuis' bold claim is that the "new proposed marijuana legislation
will allow anyone under age 12 to 17 to possess and distribute up to
five grams of marijuana." This is, quite simply, a falsehood. The new
proposed legislation does not only go on "at length about the
importance of keeping marijuana from children," but it has made it
clear that the purpose of legalizing marijuana is to, in fact, keep it
out of the hands of Canadian youth.

If that is the purpose, how would it be logical that children could
legally show up at a party with 15 joints? Quite frankly, it's not,
and if Genuis were to actually do his due diligence and research the
Cannabis Act, he would learn that the bill would, "for the first time,
make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor, and
create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in
cannabis-related offences" (Health Canada).

Therefore, if a youth were engaging with another youth in
cannabis-related offences, those youth would be breaking the law and,
thus, would face legal consequences. It would be similar to minors who
are caught with liquor - the alcohol is confiscated, parents are
notified, and sometimes a fine must be paid. When it comes to
providing pot to minors, the penalties are actually quite a bit
harsher. An adult could face up to 14 years of jail time for selling
weed to minors. In comparison, those who provide alcohol to minors
generally face less severe consequences, such as hefty fines and only
possible jail time.

According to Bill Blair, a former police officer, it is currently
"easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get
cigarettes." Therefore, by creating a legal framework for the
regulation and distribution of marijuana, it becomes significantly
harder for youth to illicitly obtain marijuana because, quite clearly,
drug dealers do not ID. Lastly, the legality of a youth possessing
marijuana remains the same as it is in the current framework - illegal.

Heather Maki

Sherwood Park
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