Senate turfs Tory bill to ban, restrict home-grown cannabis

A Conservative bid to ban or severely restrict Canadians from growing a small number of marijuana plants at home once recreational cannabis is legalized has been defeated in the Senate.

An amendment to Bill C-45 that would have banned home cultivation entirely across the country lost in a vote of 40-33, while another proposal to restrict home cultivation to inside a dwelling was defeated by a vote of 40-31.

Conservative senators had argued that home-grown weed would make the drug more accessible to children.

But a number of Independent senators countered that home cultivation may be the only option for Canadians in remote areas or for those with limited incomes.

Independent Manitoba Senator Mary Jane McCallum, who is Cree, also suggested that banning home cultivation would exacerbate the over-representation of First Nations youths in the criminal justice system.