Coun­cil­lor speaks on prov­ince’s sur­vey

Many unan­swered ques­tions re­main with re­gards to forth­com­ing leg­is­la­tion


Re­ac­tions are com­ing in from a num­ber of quar­ters af­ter the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment re­leased the re­sults of its sur­vey on mar­i­juana on Thurs­day.

Specif­i­cally, the gov­ern­ment asked how cannabis should be sold and reg­u­lated once it is le­gal­ized in July. Act­ing deputy mayor and city coun­cil­lor for the City of Moose Jaw Crys­tal Froese said it is good the prov­ince is reach­ing out to res­i­dents.

“I am glad to see that the prov­ince is en­gag­ing our cit­i­zens in a sur­vey,” she said.

The coun­cil­lor added that the le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana is one that will have a large im­pact on the city and com­mu­nity and that she was happy to see some of the trends that came to light. One of those ques­tions was about where peo­ple should be al­lowed to light up.

“I am very pleased to see that 50 per cent of re­spon­dents said they want it to be pro­hib­ited in pub­lic spa­ces,” she said, adding that this sen­ti­ment is re­flected in wider opin­ions about cig­a­rette smok­ing in gen­eral.

There were some num­bers in the sur­vey that Froese found to be sur­pris­ing; in par­tic­u­lar, the ones show­ing that peo­ple felt the age to pur­chase should be 19, the same as it is for al­co­hol.

“I guess I was kind of sur­prised about that, just be­cause that is a bit of health is­sue,” she said.

The sur­vey also made it clear that peo­ple in Saskatchewan feel there should a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy for peo­ple who are driv­ing while high and that such an of­fence should not bear more se­vere con­se­quences than drunk driv­ing. For Froese, the num­bers on how the pub­lic feels about en­force­ment bring up some ma­jor is­sues that the city will be fac­ing in the fu­ture.

“That speaks to hav­ing enough re­sources for our po­lice of­fi­cers here in the city, how are we go­ing to go about af­ford­ing that,” she said.

Froese said the city has ques­tions about where the money will come from to give the po­lice the tools they need to make sure peo­ple are not driv­ing while im­paired by cannabis.

“How are we go­ing to af­ford any type of equip­ment to look af­ter that?” she said.

There are also ques­tions about pro­vid­ing train­ing to po­lice of­fi­cers so they know how to rec­og­nize peo­ple who are im­paired. With the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment hav­ing yet to pass leg­is­la­tion or sig­nal what will be com­ing down in terms of rules, Froese said this leaves the city in limbo about how to pro­ceed.

“We’re still wait­ing to hear from the prov­ince on de­ter­min­ing reg­u­la­tion,” she said.

Along with po­lice en­force­ment, the city would also have to cre­ate or mod­ify by­laws in or­der to ac­com­mo­date the new in­dus­try. There are also ques­tions about how the taxes col­lected on the sale of cannabis will be dis­trib­uted be­tween the dif­fer­ent lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

“Where does that money go?” Froese asked.

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