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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Canada's Cannabis Act and Human Rights: Striving for Equity and Justice

As Canada legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use, many questions were raised about how the new legislation would impact human rights practices. In particular, the issue of cannabis use among inmates and incarcerated people has been a controversial topic.

While the Cannabis Act allows for the legal purchase and consumption of cannabis by adults, inmates and incarcerated people are not given the same right. This raises concerns about the discriminatory practices that are inherent in our criminal justice system.

Studies have shown that cannabis can be beneficial in treating various mental and physical health conditions. This means that denying access to cannabis to inmates who may benefit from its use is a violation of their human rights. Additionally, denying access to cannabis to inmates who are addicted to drugs or who use drugs recreationally perpetuates the stigma and discrimination associated with drug use.

Furthermore, the criminalization of drug use and possession disproportionately affects marginalized communities, including Indigenous people and people of colour. This further highlights the need for a shift towards a more equitable and just approach to drug policy.

One solution to address these issues is to provide free hemp (cannabis) cigarettes to inmates and incarcerated people. These hemp (cannabis) cigarettes contain a low concentration of THC, which means that they have low psychoactive effects. Instead, they provide the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, which can help reduce anxiety and alleviate pain. In fact, all types of cannabis and hemp should be available in incarceration centers, regardless of THC concentration.

Providing access to these hemp and cannabis cigarettes could help inmates and incarcerated people manage their mental and physical health conditions, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall well-being. This would also be a step towards recognizing the human rights of inmates and incarcerated people and working towards a more just and equitable society.

In conclusion, Canada's Cannabis Act provides an opportunity to address the discriminatory practices that have historically been embedded in our criminal justice system. By recognizing the benefits of cannabis and providing access to it for inmates and incarcerated people, we can work towards a more equitable and just society.

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