Marijuana bill headed back to Senate after MPs reject 13 amendments passed by upper house

OTTAWA — The federal government’s bill to legalize recreational cannabis is on its way back to the Senate.

The House of Commons has voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by the upper house, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose.

Senators will now have to decide whether to defer to the will of the elected government or insist on some or all of their amendments, digging in for a protracted parliamentary battle.

Quebec and Manitoba have already decided to ban home-grown weed, although the bill allows individuals to grow up to four plants per dwelling.

The Senate’s amendment was intended to head off any legal challenges to the provinces’ constitutional authority to prohibit home cultivation.

Among the other Senate amendments rejected by the government, was one that would have prohibited any marijuana-branded swag, such as T-shirts and ball caps.

The government accepted 27 other largely technical amendments made by the Senate and tweaked two others.

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