Three Canadian Conservative Party senators who are charged with assisting the transition to legal cannabis for adult-use in their country this summer are looking for help in the US, presumably in an attempt to hold back the coming tide of legalization. Once Pandora’s box is open and legal recreational sales begin in Canada, they know there isn’t any turning back.
Canadian senators Claude Carignan, Denise Batters, and Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu are members of the Conservative Party, which still strongly opposes recreational cannabis. The senators went out of the country this week to look for hope in some of the last refuges for canna-haters: the U.S. federal government.
“The senators say they also met with officials from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations, and a group called the Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which is focused on ‘educating the public about the harms of marijuana legalization.’
“The trio are members of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is one of the committees studying Bill C-45, the federal marijuana legalization legislation as well as Bill C-46 related to drug-impaired driving. They are all strongly opposed to the federal government’s pot legislation. In a statement about the trip, Batters said they were in D.C. to ‘further explore and address some of the international implications with our most important trading partner.’
“While the senators are not yet discussing specifically what they heard in their meetings, they say they discussed border safety, the black market; and the risks of marijuana use and possession.”
Ah yes. Good old Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) – the last bastion of hope for those who refuse to believe that prohibition is a failed policy. The leader of SAM, Kevin Sabet, is about as good as it gets for talking heads who support prohibition, but I am doubtful he will be helpful in achieving these senators’ goals. A little scarier is what happened during the 45-minute conversation the senators had with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has been an ardent opponent of cannabis for decades and has shown no signs of letting up on his opinion. In January, he rescinded the Cole Memo, which has been a guiding federal document for states which have opened their cannabis laws to attempt to appease concerns of prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, sending waves of uncertainty throughout the cannabis industry.
So far, we haven’t seen Sessions put into action any large-scale threat to individual states which have legalized cannabis for medical or adult use. But what was said behind those doors is anyone’s guess. I don’t think these three senators will be able to muck up Canada’s legalization, but to be sure, they are going back to their senate chambers with new weapons in their toolbox to try to do so.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Canada and any involvement the U.S. may have in hindering legalization in the Great White North. The latest Canadian legalization news will certainly be a topic at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference this week in Berlin, and again at the Vancouver ICBC in June.
If you want to stay informed of all the most important happenings in international cannabis, then you must attend the International Cannabis Business Conference! The next event is happening in Berlin, Germany in just a few days on April 11-13, followed by ICBC Vancouver, BC, Canada on June 24-25, 2018, and Portland, Oregon, USA, September 27-28. Get your tickets now before prices increase!