Pubdate: Mon, 11 Dec 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Scott Billeck
Page: 4


Consumer advocacy group concerned marijuana treated differently than

A consumer choice advocacy group has condemned the Manitoba
government's plan to ban homegrown marijuana when it becomes legal in
the country next year.

David Clement, the North American affairs manager for the Consumer
Choice Centre, an independent entity that aims to promote more choice
and freedom for consumers, says the decision to ban the growing of pot
in homes is "silly" questions why the ability

Clement said the reason the CCC has spoken out is two-fold.

He says the Manitoba government should be commended when it comes to
embracing private retail of the drug.

"That's certainly a huge step forward to curbing the black market, for
having informed consumers and increased accessibility and things like
that," Clement said.

But Clement says concerns start cropping up when it comes to different
sets of rules for medical marijuana users who can grow at home through
the Supreme Court's ruling in the Allard case. He says that having
different rules for different residents of Manitoba makes the law
significantly more difficult to enforce.

"The second reason why we have spoken out is because (the ban) treats
legal cannabis differently than it treats legal alcohol," Clement
said. "That's a big problem for us. The province is much more consumer
friendly when it comes to brewing alcohol or fermenting wine at home.
We don't see any justification for having a home cultivation
prohibition province-wide while also not having similar restrictions
for alcohol." After introducing cannabis legislation on Tuesday at the
Manitoba legislature, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson spoke to
reporters about why the ban on home growing makes sense.

"Obviously we have young people that live in our homes and we want to
protect them from being exposed to this," Stefanson said.

She also said the banning reduces the burden on local law

"I think it is difficult when they go into a home and start to look at
whether or not there are four or six plant or 10 plants," Stefanson
said. "I think that is a very difficult thing to be enforcing out there."

Like alcohol, Clement said, it's up to parents to keep it out of their
kids' hands.

"I can only speak for myself, but if you were to poll people on how
many people store alcohol in their homes, that rate would be very
high," he said.

"And we don't enact legislation to prevent them from storing

"What it really comes down to is being a good parent and we don't want
to use the possibility of people being bad parents to curb the
availability or the rights of adult consumers."
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