A cannabis leaf.

A cannabis leaf.

Change to pot laws likely to come slowly, despite Liberal win

A local advocate for reforming cannabis laws was happy with the federal election outcome.

Arne Petryshen

A local advocate for reforming cannabis laws was happy with the federal election outcome.

Tamara Cartwright-Poulits, the regional coordinator for NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada, said she was elated by the election results and Trudeau getting elected. She said it is now a waiting game, though some want the changes to cannabis laws to happen immediately.

“We know it isn’t going to happen that fast,”  Cartwright-Poulits said. “Until the fourth of November, when cabinet is actually set up and we know who the justice minister is and who the health minister is and who is going to handle the portfolio.”

Part of that is whether there will be one component in Health Canada and perhaps a whole different angle for the recreational side of it.

Cartwright-Poulis said she has spoken to Liberals in Ottawa on the issue prior to the election and they were looking at the Colorado models, but since then Oregon has come in too.

“They are looking at different aspects of how it’s working in the U.S. in those certain states on how it can benefit the whole country,” she said.

“It’s an absolutely positive step in every direction because if (Trudeau) takes the criminality out of it that makes it so no one is going to end up in jail for pot, because right now it is mandatory minimums.”

The Conservatives’ Bill C-10 means that a person caught with a certain amount of marijuana could end up with a 14 year sentence.

She said ultimately they want cannabis removed from the Canada Border Services Agency’s narcotic list.

“Make it more in the health end of it,” she said, adding that once you put the medical label on it, it also makes it difficult to bring it around to a more recreational platform.

Cartwright-Poulits said she hopes that marijuana is eventually managed like tobacco and alcohol.

“Then it would open the bong stores to get their licensing and be distributing already,” she said. “But then there are people who also have medical needs who want to have a little more knowledgeable people, so that’s where you’d want the dispensary  model sort of staying intact too.”

She said NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada began the campaign with the Liberals four years ago.

“We were out in Montreal at the conventions and in Edmonton at the conventions talking to other MPs and kind of putting our input in,” she said. “So I’d like to some of our community be able to be put at the table in the committee, so that we have our input as patients, as consumers.”

She also noted there are the anti-cannabis proponents out there that are also going to have their input as well.

“We have to look at it like adults and have an adult conversation about it — and get the reefer madness out of it,” she said.

She said some patients worry that they will not have a chance to have their say.

“Which is unfortunate, I think the patients should be more onboard thinking that this may be the time that we finally get rid of the dog tags that we’ve had to wear since 2001,” she said. “But they also want their gardens back. The Liberal government really isn’t talking about letting personal growth start back.”

Cartwright-Poulits is also the CEO and president of Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners Society.

“We’re a not-for-profit organization that is advocating and lobbying for legalization for patients,” she said.

She is also working on the East Kootenay Cannabis Club.

“To get some advocation in town too,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read