Tobacco is grown outside, so why can cannabis not be grown outside?

On Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 in Debate, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, since the member delved into the issue of Bill C-45 and the legalization of cannabis, I wonder if he would allow me to also pursue some aspects of that program that I have concerns about.

I am definitely in favour of Bill C-45 and the legalization of cannabis, but I do see that we are moving in a direction that there is a presumption that cannabis cannot be grown outdoors and we need to move it indoors. In the state of Colorado where cannabis is legal, the city of Denver’s growing operations for cannabis alone now constitute 2% of all the electricity demand for the state of Colorado.

From a carbon footprint point of view, I am very concerned about the direction of how we regulate the growing of cannabis, which is not covered in Bill C-45, and why we are moving in the direction of additional water use and intensive energy use for a product that we do not think is safe but is not more dangerous than tobacco. Tobacco is grown outside, so why can cannabis not be grown outside?

Garnett Genuis – Member for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan

Mr. Speaker, I do not have direct experience with much gardening at all, certainly not in this case. However, on the issue of growing indoors versus outdoors, I would have significant concerns about the growing of marijuana in an environment where it could not be secured from relatively easy access by minors, potentially by thieves or even children who are part of the same family.

Attention needs to be paid to this aspect of home grow. Frankly, I think it would have been more responsible for the government to not allow—well, I do not support the bill in general, but it would have been more responsible for it to not allow home grow, recognizing the risk that even with growing it indoors, the chances of children living in that house or other people being able to access it who should not be accessing it increases exponentially. That is particularly true for growing it outdoors.

I take the member’s points about the impact on the environment, but maybe that is a reason not to grow marijuana at all.

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