Marijuana growers to face more jail than child rapists under Harper’s new omnibus bill

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Ethan Baron
The Province

Someone convicted of growing more than 200 pot plants could face more mandatory jail time than someone who rapes a toddler under the Harper government’s new omnibus bill.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children.

Under the Tories’ omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.

Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it’s done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1 1/2 years if it’s in a rental or poses a safety risk.

The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else’s land.

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