Pubdate: Fri, 29 Apr 2016
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Chilliwack Progress


The federal government will start clearing away some of the haze about
marijuana legalization.

Health Minister Jane Philpott announced April 20 that the government
is a year away from introducing legislation to legalize pot. The
particulars are unknown and, presumably, undetermined, but the feds
stressed they will look to keep the drug away from children and the
profits away from gangs. Legalization strategies will be developed in
consultation and co-operation with law enforcement.

Whatever the model, it will be complicated, as legalization comes with
related considerations such as taxation, education, and laws and
campaigns against stoned driving.

It's our hope that the legalized marijuana model will be an
improvement over the status quo. Particularly in recent years, there
has been a sort of selective decriminalization. Sales at dispensaries
are tolerated, yet smoking marijuana isn't allowed. Pot shops at least
purport to provide medicine and education in a safe environment; then
again, without over-arching regulations and safety standards, we're
left to take these dispensaries at their word.

There are conceivable scenarios that could see these pot shops
legitimized a year from now, but there are other models, too, that we
might prefer. It's possible that marijuana might be sold pretty much
everywhere, or only at a few select locations.

There are foreseeable problems now that legalization is closer than
ever. If dispensaries appear doomed, we might see more police raids,
with authorities looking to snuff out pot shops for good. Or we might
see the opposite outcome - a free-for-all with no crackdowns at all,
and even more pot sellers popping up to try to cash in while they can.

It seems likely that before legalization will come a year of
confusion, or worse. Maybe there's some way, in the meantime, to try
to stay mellow.                                                 -
Black Press
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