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Feeding the media

If you are growing your own cannabis at home and you have a plant that’s over a metre tall, thank your lucky stars. Some late-game free legal advice may have kept the police from your door.

Before the federal government rolled out rules for the new legal recreational marijuana market about a year ago, it held committee hearings on the legislation. One of the people it heard from was Ottawa criminal lawyer Michael Spratt, who gave the government an earful over its plan to cap the maximum legal height of home-grown plants at one metre.

“The idea was just absurd,” says Spratt. “Imagine going away for the weekend and coming home to find that the marijuana plant in your back yard grew tall enough to break the law, and suddenly you’re facing charges.”

Thanks to objections by Spratt and others, the height cap was dropped from the legislation. Spratt’s opinion mattered to the Commons health committee because he’s a go-to source for comment on criminal law for Ottawa journalists. His media profile put him in a position to influence watershed legislation — the power of the press in action.


Read Doug Beazley’s full article: CBA National Magazine

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