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POLITICS – ‘Marijuana legislation won’t keep pot out of the hands of kids’

MP Cathy McLeod speaks in the House. (Image: CPAC, file photo)

The federal Liberals’ legislation legalizing marijuana won’t keep pot away from kids, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod said today (April 13, 2017).

“This legislation won’t keep pot out of the hands of kids, it is a promise to pot smokers and not parents,” said McLeod. “Unlike the Liberals, the Conservative Party of Canada has adopted the same approach as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, to make minor marijuana possession a ticketable offence.”

Bills were introduced by the Liberals today that, once passed, would set up a framework for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot. It would be illegal to sell cannabis to youth. Adults 18 and older could legally buy and cultivate small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

“One of the main reasons the Liberals claim legalization is necessary is because Canada’s youth are smoking more pot than ever,” McLeod said.  “This isn’t true. In fact, programs to encourage kids to stop using marijuana have been working. The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse says that for youth ages 15-24, marijuana use has dropped from 33 per cent to 24 per cent.”

“Further, the proposed age of possession of 18 goes against the Canadian Medical Association evidence which shows the brain is still undergoing major development up until the mid-twenties and marijuana can interfere with this development,” she stated.

The Liberals say their plan restricts access and increases public safety, including a robust drug-impaired driving regime. Marijuana would be tightly controlled like alcohol and tobacco, but not as widely available.

“But as usual, we know that the Conservative Party will do everything they can to stop real change, instead seeking to protect a failed status quo,” the Liberals said in an email to supporters.

McLeod said the list of unanswered questions grows as the legislation is studied:

  • How will it make it safe for kids? How will it make it safe for motorists? How will it make it safe for workplaces?
  • What are the costs of legalization? Does the federal government have a plan to work with municipalities and provinces, or will it just download all the responsibility for implementation and enforcement to them?
  • How will the issue of roadside testing be addressed and what direction is being given to police forces across the country to deal with marijuana possession and driving?
  • Is legalization really going to take the criminal element out of pot sales?

“I will continue to raise serious questions as Justin Trudeau’s plan to bring pot to corner stores across Canada moves forward,” said McLeod.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5007 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on POLITICS – ‘Marijuana legislation won’t keep pot out of the hands of kids’

  1. Cathy Churchill // April 13, 2017 at 9:37 PM // Reply

    We haven’t stopped teens from drinking alcohol entirely but we have made them very conscious of its illegality for them. I suspect it won’t be much different with marijauna. What I do think, however, is that usage by 1 in 4 teens will, in fact, decrease quickly as it loses its cache once it is legal. Prohibition has yet to work and at least legal marijauna will have formal restrictions on where and to whom it is sold.

  2. Exactly Adam. No where have the Liberals said that any corner store will be able to sell pot. As long as there are rules around smoking in public, or clogging up hallways with the smoke, and of course impaired driving, this is a non issue. Cathy had nothing to say for years under Harper. She should continue to keep her mouth shut.

  3. Cathy, Cathy Cathy … and the rhetoric continues …
    You ask questions that have already been answered, or at least there is a framework in how to deal with them:

    -Your “question”, *and the answer as its already been announced:

    – “How will it make it safe for kids?” *By regulation, same as alcohol and tobacco. Removal of the criminal element that sells it now, inherently makes it safer than it was. Kids are still going to get their hands on it, but with education like anti tobacco education over the long term, the % will drop as they realize they don’t want it. Legalization alone turns off the teenage tendency to rebel against the system, which is often the driving force towards trying it in the first place.

    * “The Minimum age”. Some will agree that 18 is too young, but this federal age is just that, a Federal minimum. It allows the Provinces to choose whatever age they see fit, and it will work with provinces that allow 18 year old drinking. If you have a problem with a Provinces minimum age, take it up with them, its Provincial jurisdiction. Others will say there should be a Federal drinking minimum age, so the Federal Government can increase the age in the 3 provinces that allow 18 year old drinking … but that’s off topic.

    – “How will it make it safe for motorists?” *By entrenchment in Canadian law regarding driving under the influence, this bill is very clear on that, as it is already clear regarding drinking and driving, this just extends these existing laws. There is still questions over the roadside tools used, and enforcement procedures and police training. No different than anti drinking driving laws. We will get good at it slowly.

    – “How will it make it safe for workplaces?” *No difference; if a workplace has rules and safety screening procedures, they will continue. Employers with rules against working while drunk, will adapt to this as well. Non issue, why would you bring that up? Are you saying you want the Federal Government to control workplaces?

    – “What are the costs of legalization?” *Ridiculously open ended question, what does that even mean? What is the federal cost regarding regulation of the alcohol/wine industry? Or the tobacco industry? In the long run, any costs are paid for by tax revenues earned. Another issue is the savings to the justice system and the penal system regarding someone who is caught and jailed for a small quantity of pot. How much per year does that cost in court time and jail care? Instant savings. If your talking social costs, lets keep in mind that one of the main goals of this bill is to completely remove the criminal element from the product … which in the end will make our streets safer.

    – “Does the federal government have a plan to work with municipalities and provinces, or will it just download all the responsibility for implementation and enforcement to them?” *If you had watched the press briefing, yes, there is a plan in place to work it out with Provinces and Territories and Municipalities, and yes, each will have it’s own approach and take on implementation to fit the needs of its own existing distribution, enforcement and regulatory systems. Lets keep in mind that Alcohol laws and regulations are Provincial anyway. Are you suggesting that it should be Federal? Just what Federal infrastructure is ready to absorb the distribution and retail component? Provinces are accustomed to directly handling product sale regulation and processes to do so, and it is in their jurisdiction anyway. So … yes, the Federal Govt has a plan to implement with Provincial partners, and yes … the responsibility is downloaded to the Provinces. Wheres the problem?

    – “How will the issue of roadside testing be addressed and what direction is being given to police forces across the country to deal with marijuana possession and driving?” *The task force responsible to dealing with this question will figure it out, and this task force includes law enforcement and legal professionals. The details regarding training and enforcement will be worked out in due course. This is day one, they have a year, and they have been working on it for a year so far. Getting it right will take time.

    – “Is legalization really going to take the criminal element out of pot sales?” *IF the price is competitive with or less than, the price one pays a criminal dealer, then of course it will. There is no other better defense against the criminal community … than a commercial one. That, plus the severe increase in jail time for criminal dealers, will mean that its not worth while, just to sell a bag of weed. BOOM … they’re gone one way or another. No one except you is arguing about this.

    – “I will continue to raise serious questions as Justin Trudeau’s plan to bring pot to corner stores across Canada moves forward.” *OK, try asking questions that there are either no answers for, or a process in place to answer them. Both are covered. BTW, if corner stores are the place it will be sold, blame the Province, not the Federal Govt. You can buy beer in a corner store in Quebec, but not BC … is Quebec’s decision the fault of the Federal Govt? If the Federal Govt (of any party) went to Quebec and said ‘no more corner store beer sales’, Quebec would rightly say … ‘mind your own business’. No different here.

    *Cathy you are harping on about inappropriate questions on day one, with a year to go before implementation. It is obvious that you are taking up soundbite space for your own parties political agenda … yet again. Please sit down and let the ideology of a majority of voters to determine changes in Canada. You and your supporters are a minority, with old school prohibitional concepts of control of the masses. It didnt work, costs a fortune in enforcement and justice and something new needs to be done, please just sit down.

  4. Was it REALLY out of kids hands in the first place? If kids wanted pot, they could easily get it. We were all in high school once

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