Manitoba’s NDP removes province’s ban on growing cannabis

Following “4/20” events this past Saturday, Manitoba’s NDP government has introduced legislation that drops a ban on growing cannabis at home.

Posted April 19, 2024 5:11 pm. 

Four days after some Manitobans marked “4/20” this past Saturday, Manitoba’s NDP government has announced it’s dropping the ban on growing cannabis at home. The new legislation would permit residents aged 19 and up to grow up to four plants at a time, the maximum permitted by the federal Cannabis Act.

“This amendment is a direct response to Manitoba consumers,” Manitoba Justice says.

It’s been over five years since cannabis was legalized in Canada. The Cannabis Act legalized the recreational use of cannabis on October 17, 2018 — 95 years after an amendment to the Narcotics Drug Act added it, along with heroin, to an existing list from 1920 that also included opium and cocaine.

Following federal legalization, Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government had enacted legislation to ban homegrown pot for recreational use. TobaGrown, an advocacy organization, took the province to court over its ban, and while Manitoba’s Court of King’s Bench upheld the ban, the organization appealed the decision.

Repealing the prohibition of homegrown cannabis in the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act was one of the Manitoba NDP’s campaign promises. Advocacy organizations like TobaGrown say they’re hoping the province will also scrap the ban on smoking cannabis publicly.

Other recent changes made by the NDP since they took power October 3, 2023 include:

· Restoring provincial funding to three environmental organizations — Climate Change Connection, Green Action Centre, and Manitoba Eco-Network

· Making plans to “refresh” the kind of prayer said at the opening of each legislative session to align with the interests of “multi-faith leadership” and, in the words of Premier Wab Kinew, “ensure it captures who we are as Manitobans today” after at least 15 years of the prayer being what the government is now suggesting is no longer “relevant to the values and priorities of all Manitobans”

· Introducing legislation to update requirements for the use of gender-neutral language throughout the Change of Name Act and automatically “exempt the publication of two-spirit, transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse individuals’ legal name change” in the Manitoba government’s official publication of legal notices despite the current process already having an option for an individual to request a publication waiver, with Wolseley MLA and Minister of Consumer Protection and Government Services Lisa Naylor saying the need to check a box to request a waiver is an unnecessary barrier and that such publication can cause harm

The Progressive Conservatives say the NDP platform underestimates the cost of the party’s promises, which the Tories say would total $3.3 billion.

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