When we last heard about the history-making Bill C-45, which will eventually legalize adult-use marijuana in Canada, the bill had passed its second reading in Parliament and was handed over to the House Health Committee for due diligence. The task for the committee was to study the bill and recommend any necessary adjustments.
With a mountain of work ahead, the committee has agreed to reconvene one week before Parliament resumes on September 18 so MPs can start listening to testimony from various experts and stakeholders.
“It’s going to be all day, nine to five and then some,” said MP Bill Casey, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health. Although some of the meetings include points about criminal justice, Casey added that “our focus will be on the health impacts.”
The meetings are expected to bring testimony from physicians, marijuana producers, medical marijuana patients, potential retailers, and various others. Although no assemblies have been held, the committee has decided that all public meetings will be televised.
Two of the confirmed speakers who were invited to testify in front of the Standing Committee on Health are legendary pot activists Jodie and Marc Emery.
“A couple of weeks ago I posted on Twitter that I was sending a letter to the Health Committee, requesting my participation as a witness,” said Jodie in an interview with Marijuana.com. “Don Davies of the NDP who is the Vice-Chair [of the committee], called me and said he wanted me to be there with Marc.”
The cannabis power couple will focus their information on the effects prohibition has had on people and what the government can do about it. “Marc will focus on an apology and amnesty, and I will emphasize that there is no justification to criminalize people in any way for cannabis.”
Jodie added that Marc wants an apology for everyone who has been harmed or arrested, as well as amnesty for anyone with past or pending convictions. “The entire prohibition has been a human rights violation and we will be covering the bases on the victims, apology, amnesty, reparations, and making things right.”
The House Committee meetings are scheduled to commence on September 11 with Jodie and Marc Emery set to testify on the 15th.