Ban on home-grown pot paternalistic: McLellan

The Canadian Press
Joan Bryden

OTTAWA–Banning Canadians from growing a few marijuana plants in their homes or backyards once recreational cannabis is legalized would be both paternalistic and unenforceable, former federal justice minister Anne McLellan says.
McLellan, who chaired the federal task force on cannabis legalization, offered that opinion yesterday during an appearance before the Senate’s social affairs committee, which is examining the federal government’s bill to legalize pot use.
The bill would allow individuals to grow up to four plants per dwelling­–a provision that has raised concerns among senators, apartment and condo owners, municipalities, and police.
Moreover, the Quebec and Manitoba governments have decided to prohibit home cultivation altogether–a move which ultimately could lead to a legal squabble over constitutional jurisdiction between Ottawa and the provinces.
McLellan declined to weigh in on the potential constitutional dispute but she vigorously defended the task force’s recommendation, adopted by the government, that individuals be allowed to grow a small number of plants.
“Let’s not be too paternalistic,” she told the committee.
In any event, McLellan predicted “very few” people will bother to grow their own weed–running the risk of their pets or kids getting into it, reducing the resale value of their home, or getting kicked out of their apartment or condo–once there’s a readily available, safe, legal, commercial supply.
“We think there’ll be very few of them over time . . . just as you discover with wine-making,” McLellan said.