Pubdate: Sat, 02 Dec 2017
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2017 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Marie-Danielle Smith
Page: A2


Poetic Riposte

OTTAWA - With the Liberal cannabis legalization bill now being debated
in the Senate, the Conservative Party's health critic used poetry
Friday to ask for sober second thought.

Marilyn Gladu implored the upper chamber to "keep our great country
safe from all the weed" Friday after the Senate's first debate on Bill
C-45, a federal framework for legal marijuana, got underway Thursday

The House of Commons passed the federal bill Monday. It must get
through an unpredictable Senate before it can become law. So far,
eight provinces and territories have unveiled plans ahead of the
government's July 1, 2018, deadline for Canadians to access legal pot.

Gladu laid out her party's concerns in verse before question period
Friday morning:

I want to protest an ill-thought out bill that is passing through
Parliament here on the Hill.

The bill that is bad is called C-45. It has so many flaws it just
should not survive.

The Grits will allow four pot plants in each dwelling, regardless of
how bad each place will be smelling.

With mold, ventilation as issues unplanned, this bill will not keep
pot from our children's hands.

There are more new infractions within this new rule that our courts
will be flooded, as will every school.

With drug impaired driving and challenges there, the doubling of
traffic deaths and Liberals do not care.

The provinces and the police in every town have all asked the Liberals
to slow this bill down.

With nearly 200 more days left 'til the day, nobody but our party
stands in the way.

We hope that the Senate will do its true deed, and keep our great
country safe from all the weed.

Tories have raised eyebrows with some of their arguments against
cannabis legislation.

Earlier this year, Gladu predicted children would become drug mules
under the Liberal policy. The bill exempts 12-to-17-year-olds from
criminal prosecution for the possession of up to five grams of pot.

Former Conservative Senate leader Claude Carignan raised the same
concern with the bill's sponsor, independent Sen. Tony Dean, on
Thursday, suggesting the bill would make it A-OK for kids to bring
joints to school hallways.

Dean said the government is trying to reduce youth consumption of
marijuana with public education, but avoid giving them criminal
records. The Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs survey found in 2015,
almost 29 per cent of 15-to-19-year-olds had tried pot at least once,
and more than 20 per cent had smoked in the past year.

Despite issues raised by his caucus and his own distaste for the bill,
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has publicly acknowledged it would
be "very difficult" for a future Tory government to undo legalization
if Liberals succeed with what was one of their major campaign promises.

The Senate is separately debating a government bill that adds
penalties for drug-impaired driving.

Gladu's Friday statement was not the only recent attempt to sway
senators with poetry: rhymes were recently invoked as a last-ditch
plea for a Senate vote on the ill-fated national anthem bill. (And the
House has a storied history of political rhymes.)
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