Pot talk on the agenda as justice ministers meet
VANCOUVER — Marijuana legalization is topping a packed agenda as Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould sits down with her provincial and territorial counterparts for two days of meetings in Vancouver.
B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said he hopes the gathering, which began Thursday, offers more clarity around how the federal government intends to make good on its ambitious timeline to legalize pot by next summer.
“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.”
Farnworth said he also wants to get a better sense of what other provinces are arranging because of the importance of ensuring certain marijuana laws are consistent across the country.
Ontario Justice Minister Yasir Naqvi described the timeline as tight but added that his province is working with the federal government on preparing for legalization.
The federal government has come under fire for what appears to be a hands-off approach to regulating the sale and policing of marijuana once it becomes legal on Canada Day 2018.
Brian Patterson, head of the public safety group Ontario Safety League, said he is shocked by the federal government’s commitment to what is an unrealistic, politically motivated deadline that will put Canadians at risk.
The group released a position paper earlier this month titled “Too Far, Too Fast” urging the government DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, centre left, is flanked by Deputy Minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin, left, and Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley, right, at the start of a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety, in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday.