Prov­inces want marijuana an­swers from feds

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - — The Cana­dian Press

VAN­COU­VER — Canada’s jus­tice min­is­ters are ask­ing for clar­ity and sup­port as they scram­ble to or­ga­nize and po­lice an en­tirely new marijuana in­dus­try in fewer than 10 months.

Bri­tish Columbia So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Mike Farn­worth said he hopes this week’s meet­ing be­tween fed­eral Jus­tice Min­is­ter Jody Wil­son-Ray­bould and her pro­vin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial coun­ter­parts will pro­vide more an­swers about how the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment in­tends to make good on its plans to le­gal­ize pot by sum­mer 2018.

“Ob­vi­ously, I think the July time frame is a chal­lenge,” he said. “But right now that’s the time­line, that’s the time frame that we’re work­ing to­wards.”

The jus­tice min­is­ters be­gan two days of meet­ings in Van­cou­ver on Thurs­day. Be­sides pot, the agenda in­cludes dis­cus­sions around how the jus­tice sys­tem deals with peo­ple who don’t dis­close their HIV sta­tus to their sex­ual part­ners and the fall­out from a Supreme Court of Canada de­ci­sion that puts a time limit on how long it takes to pros­e­cute a crim­i­nal charges.

Man­i­toba Jus­tice Min­is­ter Heather Ste­fan­son said in a state­ment that her gov­ern­ment wants more clar­ity on how the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment in­tends to sup­port prov­inces in im­ple­ment­ing The Cannabis Act.

Ste­fan­son stressed the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing proper pol­icy to ad­dress road safety and en­force­ment, re­gard­less of the reg­u­la­tory regime.

“Our pri­mary con­cern re­gard­ing the le­gal­iza­tion of marijuana is the health and safety of Man­i­to­bans,” she said. “The fed­eral gov­ern­ment must rec­og­nize that rush­ing into some­thing of this mag­ni­tude presents tremen­dous risks.”

On­tario Jus­tice Min­is­ter Yasir Naqvi de­scribed the dead­line as tight but added that his prov­ince is work­ing dili­gently to be ready by July 1, 2018.

W.-rAy­bould Van­cou­ver meet

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