As I have said and written countless times before, there is nothing wrong with being ignorant about marijuana. In the age of the Internet, that is your choice. But your ignorance should not have influence over law, as is the case with many government officials in the U.S., Canada and beyond.

A prime example of a government official who is woefully ignorant about cannabis is Quebec’s Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health, a woman named Lucie Charlebois. When asked by a talk show host about the possibility of Canadians adults being able to grow their own cannabis at home, she responded, “No, that’s not in the bill [Bill 157]. The population has asked us to start more rigorously, frame it more severely (legalization). Let me explain why: I do not grow cannabis, but my neighbour grows it. If my grandchildren go to my neighbour’s house and inadvertently get into the marijuana plants and eat them, that’s not good. It is not good that it is near homes where there are children. Moreover, I was told during public consultations that with four good cannabis plants, for two people at home, you can be stoned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And do you know what? You’ll still have some left.”

A few assertions jump out of that paragraph. For one, when you have been outside with your children or have been at someone else’s house with them or they have stayed over at someone else’s house, how many of your children have ever ate the plants in their environment? Obviously it has happened somewhere at some time, but to pretend that children eating plants is even close to a regular thing is disingenuous at best.

A case could be made about children eating a marijuana-infused brownie they have mistaken for a regular brownie, but that problem isn’t addressed by whether or not adults can grow marijuana at home.

But more ridiculous than that claim is this: “Moreover, I was told during public consultations that with four good cannabis plants, for two people at home, you can be stoned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And do you know what? You’ll still have some left.”

This statement has no basis in reality and has zero empirical evidence to back it up, hence her framing it as something a single person told her. How big are these plants? Are they indoor or outdoor? What is the THC content? What are the relative tolerances of the 2 people in question? If people are allowed to have up to 150 grams in their homes – as they would be under Bill 157 – why wouldn’t that allow them to be stoned 24/7/365? Oh, and also so what and who cares? None of those questions are answered in Minister Charlebois’ answer. It is an empty statement.

Again, empty, ignorant statements by the guy next door is fine; but if you are a government minister with power over certain regulations, you should probably know something about the substance and industry you are regulating.