Legal marijuana in Canada will break international treaties, warns pro-family women's group

  • June 12, 2018

OTTAWA – Canada’s impending legalization of marijuana puts it on a collision course with the United States, warns a national pro-family women’s group.

When the Cannabis Act C-45 becomes law, it will allow children aged 12-18 to possess and distribute up to five grams of marijuana, which breaks international treaties, said Gwen Landolt, national vice president of REAL Women of Canada.

Landolt pointed out Bill C-45 breaks three international treaties that prohibit marijuana as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child’s section 33 that says children should not be exposed to drug use.

“Canada is totally ignoring a UN treaty,” she said. “If Canada can do it, what is the effect on other treaties?”

Landolt pointed out Uruguay, in 2013, was the first and only country in the world to regulate marijuana at a national level. The United States responded by invoking the Patriot Act which prohibits U.S. banks from handling funds involved in marijuana sales.

The legislation in Uruguay is far more restrictive than the Canadian bill, she said, but once the Patriot Act was invoked, the number of organizations selling marijuana went from 13 to six.

“Will (U.S. President Donald) Trump do that to Canada?” she asked. “We don’t know. There’s a strong possibility. All these manufacturers and distributors of marijuana may have difficulty using the financial structures of the United States.. ...Who knows what Trump is going to do. He’s totally unpredictable.”

Trump told journalists before leaving for the G7 meetings in Quebec on June 8 that he was open to ending the federal ban on marijuana, contrary to the stand of his own Attorney General. This, however, was before the meetings ended in a Twitter barrage of insults against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on trade negotiations in which Trump called Canada’s leader “weak and dishonest.”

The Senate passed Bill C-45 with 40 amendments June 7 by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention. The bill is likely to be returned by the House of Commons after accepting some of the amendments and passed by the Senate and into law before the summer break.

Section 12 of the Act that permits teenagers to possess and share marijuana was not touched, said Landolt. 

“It means young kids can go to the local mall, or bring it to school,” Landolt said. “Any young teenager can say to a 14-year old, ‘Here, try it. It’s legal.’ ”

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