Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jul 2016
Source: St. Thomas Times-Journal (CN ON)
Page: 11
Copyright: 2016 Sun Media
Author: Christina Blizzard


Grits Stalling Creating New Problems for Marijuana

Justin Trudeau's pledge to legalize pot isn't exactly giving his 
government the euphoric high they'd hoped for.

Turns out it's way tougher to do than they anticipated. To speed 
things up, they've announced a traditional Liberal solution: Recycle 
old cabinet ministers and appoint a task force.

On Thursday, they announced former Attorney General Anne McLellan 
will lead them into the Weedland.

Trudeau has pledged to legalize marijuana in 2017. This dud of an 
announcement appears to be simply stalling. Their waffling is making 
life difficult for cops who end up in a Catch-22. It's still illegal 
to sell pot for anything other than medicinal reasons.

But in anticipation that it will become legal - somewhere, somehow - 
hundreds of pot dispensaries have sprung up. They can't all be 
getting their product from legally-grown sources. We have no idea 
what's in that pot, how it's grown or where it's coming from.

If these dispensaries are prepared to risk prosecution, there's 
clearly plenty of dough to be made from selling weed.

The law's the law, so don't blame cops when they enforce it.

This presents a number of problems for this province.

Where will it be sold? Will the LCBO become the MCBO? Will the 
government rely on pharmacies? And how much will it be taxed?

"I've been very clear that I think there needs to first be a 
distinction between recreational and medicinal marijuana," Premier 
Kathleen Wynne said Thursday. She's waiting for the feds to come up 
with a "framework" for legal pot sales.

If you can buy wine and beer in Loblaws, why not weed? Think how much 
more interesting it would make the bakery section.

Can I feed these brownies to the kids - or are they adult only?

If the government micromanages this and charges too much tax, it will 
spawn an illegal trade, as they have with tobacco.

Speaking of tobacco, for the past 13 years, successive Liberal 
governments have attempted to make tobacco smoking practically a 
hanging offence. But weed is welcome. Now they're poised to welcome 
cannabis - probably heavily taxed - into their arsenal of "revenue tools."

And what about pot-impaired driving? There's no reliable way to test 
for pot consumption in drivers.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said Thursday his government 
is working on the technology, "but we haven't landed it yet."

Who will be allowed to smoke pot?

Studies have shown it's harmful to the developing brains of teens. So 
what should be the legal pot smoking age - 19, 21, 25?

Pot is a mind-altering drug that can cause paranoia in some people. 
Should people with mental health issues be allowed to access it?

Sure, alcohol has similar effects. And government sells and profits 
from booze. Anyone who's seen the damage caused by alcoholism can 
tell you that doesn't make it right.

So we have scofflaws selling pot from storefronts. Cops being mocked 
for enforcing the law. And no plan on how it will be sold. But you 
know the government is salivating at the thought of all that cash rolling in.

And lucky us, we have a task force to lead us into the Wonderful 
Wilderness of Weed.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom