Se­lect com­mit­tee of leg­is­la­ture to ex­am­ine is­sues re­lated to cannabis le­gal­iza­tion in N.B.


The provin­cial gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a mo­tion in the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly Fri­day to es­tab­lish a se­lect com­mit­tee of the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly to study is­sues re­lated to cannabis le­gal­iza­tion.

“Your gov­ern­ment has been work­ing since 2015 in prepa­ra­tion for fed­eral leg­is­la­tion on cannabis le­gal­iza­tion, which was re­cently tabled in the House of Com­mons,” said Health Min­is­ter Vic­tor Boudreau. “This se­lect com­mit­tee will pro­vide us the op­por­tu­nity to lis­ten to the con­cerns of New Brunswick­ers on im­por­tant pol­icy implications as we move to­wards le­gal­iza­tion in June or July of 2018.”

The com­mit­tee will be com­prised of gov­ern­ment mem­bers and of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion mem­bers and will be charged with ex­am­in­ing such is­sues as a le­gal age for pos­ses­sion of cannabis, the max­i­mum le­gal amount of pos­ses­sion and poli­cies on grow­ing cannabis plants on pri­vate prop­erty. A dis­cus­sion guide will be de­vel­oped, as well.

The mem­bers of the com­mit­tee are: Kent South MLA Benoît Bourque; Res­tigouche West MLA Gilles Lepage; Vic­to­ria-la Val­lée MLA Chuck Chiasson; Monc­ton East MLA Monique Leblanc; Car­leton-vic­to­ria MLA An­drew Har­vey; Gage­town-pe­tit­co­diac MLA Ross Wet­more; Ed­mund­ston-madawaska Cen­tre MLA Madeleine Dubé; and Fred­er­ic­ton-grand Lake MLA Pam Lynch.

Boudreau noted there would be both op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges stem­ming from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to cannabis le­gal­iza­tion.

“We re­main fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing a proper bal­ance, by ad­dress­ing health and pub­lic safety con­cerns and en­sur­ing the well-be­ing of our fam­i­lies,” he said. “I look for­ward to the find­ings of the com­mit­tee.”

The com­mit­tee will pre­pare and ta­ble a re­port of its work in the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly.

Last year, the Smoke-free Places Act was amended to broaden the def­i­ni­tion of smoke to in­clude any sub­stance that can be smoked, vaped or in­haled, in­clud­ing mar­i­juana. In March, a work­ing group com­prised of se­nior of­fi­cials from three de­part­ments and two Crown cor­po­ra­tions was cre­ated to pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment on a model for the dis­tri­bu­tion and sale of cannabis.

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