Cannabis grows naturally and has for at least 10,000 years. It’s a hardy crop that requires little water, that improves soil quality, and that has a host of medicinal and civil uses. In these 10,000 years, cannabis has been grown widely for food, fiber, and phytoceuticals; although it’s come to be associated with organized crime, this basic activity sustained many human societies from the beginning of recorded history until World War II!
And yet, with legalization looming, at least two provinces have committed themselves to denying this legacy to Canadians. Why? Let’s examine five key arguments for and against home-grown cannabis.
1) Grow-ops are Dangerous: Unregulated grow operations, especially grow operations using high-pressure lighting, can be risky. However, these risks are associated with large-scale grow operations, which the 4-plant limit falls well short of; 4 plants may be adequately served by simple LED lighting and requires little in the way of complicated hardware. More likely perhaps, people will turn to the cheapest and safest lighting of all — the sun.
2) At Home Beer and Wine: Legislation is based on precedent, and bill C-45 is no exception. Much of the infrastructure laid out by C-45 models the system of alcohol regulation. If adults can legally produce beer and wine in their own homes, with children present, and with the accepted risks to person and property that homebrewing entails, it would be ludicrous to deny the same right to cannabis consumers. As automated “grow-boxes” and at-home cultivation kits become more widespread, there’s no question that the personal production of cannabis will become safer than home-brewing.
3) Toxicity to Animals and Children: This is one of the most common refrains in the fight against home growing — think of the kids! Think of the cats! In fact, at-home cannabis kits would be significantly less dangerous than pre-prepared cannabis. Cannabis takes weeks to cure after its finished growing and must be heated to cause a high. Fido chomping on your plant won’t send him to emergency veterinary care, he’ll just have some more greens in his diet.
4) The numbers: Even with an automated grow system, growing at home can be extraordinarily labour intensive, which will discourage a large number of people from trying their hand at the craft. Home-grown cannabis is untested and less consistent, and home-growers risk dumping their resources down the drain if they lose their crop. As we well know, most people don’t dip down to their basement brewery for a quick beer; they head to the liquor store! Having a consistent, easily accessible and dependable product is more important to the majority of consumers.
5) Liberty: It would be exploitive for the government to legalize a hardy, resilient crop and then provide only expensive, government-taxed cannabis, banning all personal cultivation. If free market competition and personal liberty are that important regarding alcohol consumption, that should absolutely apply to cannabis as a precedent.Posted: Sunday, October 28th, 10:00am 18 days ago
Lana Tong is an aspiring Biochemist and Squirrel Behavioral Psychologist based in Victoria, British Columbia. She's passionate about cannabis as a medicine, entheogen, food, fiber crop, and so much more. Lana hopes to one day swim in a pool filled with organic CBD oil. We all have dreams - right?!