Associations call for ban on home-grown weed in B.C. once it becomes legal
‘We don’t know how you could guarantee it would be safe’
A 12,000 member medical association, and Landlord B.C. are calling on the province to consider a ban on growing non-medicinal marijuana at home, once the drug becomes legal in July 2018.
Doctors of B.C., (DOBC) formerly known at the B.C. Medical Association, was among a group of stakeholders asked by the province to provide input as it develops a framework on how legalized marijuana will be sold and regulated in the province.
DOBC released a submission to the government on Nov. 1. Its president said she hopes the province will consider its "practical suggestion" on home-grown pot.
"Our concern is access for kids. It's not just your garden variety philodendron you're putting on the window sill," said Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, president of DOBC.
"It has certain hazardous potential for your children and your pets. We don't know how you could guarantee it would be safe," she said.
Bill C-45 permits adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, up to a maximum plant height of 100 centimetres.
In its submission, DOBC is asking the government to consider prohibiting home cultivation of marijuana due to:
- Risk of fire.
- Humidity and electrical problems.
- Use of hazardous chemicals such as pesticides.
- Lack of quality control regarding potency of the product.
- Access to cannabis by children and youth (e.g. accidental ingestion or overdose)
The B.C. government began a public engagement process on how legalized marijuana will be sold and regulated back in September.
In a statement to CBC Tuesday, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the government is now reviewing all submissions, alongside research and analysis — as it develops a framework for B.C.
"British Columbia's top priorities are the protection of young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping our roads safe," said Farnworth.
"We will also continue to engage with stakeholders to flesh out their ideas more fulsomely in the context of cannabis legalization here in B.C."
Homeowners yes, renters no
David Hutniak, the CEO of Landlord B.C. agrees homeowners in a private residence should have the prerogative to grow their own marijuana under the proposed legislation but he stresses, those who rent — should not.
"Can you imagine an apartment building with 50 apartments? Can you imagine if we had 50 personal grow ops? It would be a calamity," he said.
"We completely object to the government saying that even if you live in a rental, you can have your own personal grow op. We say no to that totally."
In its submission of considerations to the province, DOBC also called for limits on personal possession of marijuana, a system to track data on adverse cannabis-related reactions and to separate the sale of pot from the sale of alcohol.