Quebec not ready to commit to allowing homegrown cannabis
Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:25PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:24PM EDT
Quebec's government is continuing to debate exactly how to handle the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana.
The latest concern is how to police and monitor people growing marijuana at home.
Under Ottawa's plan--every element of which is subject to provincial approval--individuals would be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants.
This week, three police departments have told the House of Commons Health Committee that is a bad idea for several reasons.
Police departments say that amount would produce far more marijuana that the 30 grams Canadians would be allowed to possess, and it would be very difficult to monitor.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Thursday that the Liberal caucus meeting in Val d'Or would be discussing how the government could control home growing of cannabis, but said that, contrary to a report in La Presse, the government has yet to make a decision.
Critics say it would be impossible to enforce the limit of four plants. Four plants under one metre each could produce three times more pot that the 30 grams Canadians are going to be allowed to have.
The province of Ontario issued its guidelines last week banning private sales of marijuana and deciding the sale of pot would be through new separate outlets run by the LCBO.
Barrette has not revealed whether it will follow Ontario's lead.
He said one added difficulty is the timeline, and said it's possible Quebec would not be ready to deal with legal marijuana as of July 1, 2018.
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois, who oversaw public consultations, said at this point all options are still on the table.
Longtime pot advocate Marc-Boris St-Maurice said critics of allowing homegrown plants are being hypocritical.
“I find it's a little hypocritical that they say that they're not going to be able to enforce an arbitrary limit on plants yet at the same time going ahead with internet sales, which is going to be even more impossible to enforce. I mean, any 12-year-old with their father's credit card could be ordering this and I don’t see anyone complaining about that.”
An earlier version of this article stated Ontario would ban people from growing marijuana at home. We regret the error.