Limiting Legalization Debate in the House of Commons

Last month, Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger said the Liberal government is resorting to “time allocation” to ram through their agenda.

Essentially, this means limiting the amount of time the House of Commons can study and debate government legislation, like the legalization of cannabis.

While in opposition the Liberals criticized this practice when used by the Harper government, but now that they’re in power, the tables have turned.

Liberals say this “time allocation” tool is necessary because opposition parties have rejected their recent reform proposals to “modernize” the House of Commons by making it even less transparent.

The Liberals wanted the House to take Friday’s off, remove the opposition’s power to filibuster, and remove the ability for the opposition parties to create an all-party committee that would determine how long each individual piece of legislation should be debated.

Unable to ram through these rules, the Liberals abandoned some of the more controversial aspects of their proposals. But they are still committed to limiting and creating a question period solely for the prime minister, and they want reforms in parliamentary committee rules.

At the end of the day, the Liberals are engaging in the same practices the Conservatives were known for, undermining transparency and accountability.

From Mulroney to Chrétien to Martin to Harper and now Trudeau — the corruption gets worse. Power monarchs could only have dreamed of.

Like the Harper Cons before them, Justin’s Grits are adhering to the irrefutable thesis that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What does this mean for cannabis users? What’s already in Bill C-45 is unlikely to change, and there’s unlikely to be much debate over the issue. A first-reading has already passed, the rest is sure to come after the summer break.

Perhaps to prove the critics wrong, the Liberals will allow debate on the home-growing aspect, allowing busy-body health bureaucrats and Conservative MPs to successfully sway the opinions of Liberal MPs and thus ban home-growing in the final reading of the bill.

Maybe Senate committees will decide the issue.

Either way, things aren’t looking good for BC Bud.

Free and fair markets thrive when governments don’t intervene. While the drug war is a large intervention, sometimes the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

Cannabis connoisseurs just needed the prosecution to end. But not only is it going to continue for the underground, the only ones exempt will be the ones already rich with capital and influence.