Canadian provinces are trying to prepare for legalized recreational marijuana, but like everything else in government, questions are answered slowly. Nova Scotia’s Premier recently responded to his province’s preparations for recreational marijuana.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of the questions Canadian provinces need answered are the same sorts of questions that states in the U.S. are addressing about enforcing laws, implementation of distribution networks and taxes. The premier also stated that consistent rules throughout provinces would be a good idea. Do you think states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana should coordinate together to make similar rules?
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province aims to have regulations and safeguards in place for the legalization of cannabis by next July, despite a number of outstanding questions.
McNeil told The Chronicle Herald on Thursday that the provinces and territories are still waiting for answers from the federal government regarding a series of issues.
After the Council of Federation meetings last month in Edmonton, where concerns were raised by some provinces about meeting the federal government’s legal marijuana deadline, the premiers asked Ottawa for clarification on five points.
These included questions about road safety and enforcement mechanisms; preparation and training for a distribution network; taxation arrangements and cost coverage; public education campaigns; and supply, demand and their relationship to the illegal market.
McNeil said he is looking forward to a response on those questions, expected within the next couple of months — particularly on taxation, and on what constitutes impairment from a legal standpoint.
He also said consistency between provinces will be important.
“I’ve said all along from a regulatory point of view we need Atlantic Canada, and all of our provinces, very close in terms of the regulations in and around this substance,” he said.
McNeil has said in previous interviews that a legal age of 19 makes sense for marijuana.
A Nova Scotia Department of Justice spokesperson said a group appointed by the premiers in July, will report back in November on “common considerations and best practices to cannabis legalization and regulation, guided by the objectives of reducing harm, protecting public safety, and reducing illicit activity.”
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