Pubdate: Wed, 07 Dec 2016
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Steven Lambert
Page: 7


Pallister says he is not alone in wanting delay in feds' marijuana

The federal government should postpone legislation to legalize
marijuana, planned for the spring, because there are still too many
details to work out, says Premier Brian Pallister.

"We've done a fair bit of preparatory work here and research, and the
more we do, the more we unlock complexities that need to be addressed
that are not minor things," Pallister told reporters Tuesday.

"I know at least some of the other first ministers have these concerns
as well."

Pallister said he will speak with other premiers and Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau about the issue at a first ministers conference Friday
in Ottawa.

While federal legislation is just a few months away, details on
everything from how pot will be sold to dosage limits remain up in the
air. Pallister wants the provinces and Ottawa to develop common rules.

"There are a lot of public policy ramifications that we need to think
through carefully and I think we should be doing it together in a
co-ordinated way," he said.

"To rush and then see injury or lives lost as a result of a lack of
foresight and planning would be a real shame."

One of Pallister's top priorities is to see a public-awareness push to
convince people not to drive while under the influence of pot.
Societal attitudes need to change the same way they have in recent
years regarding drunk driving, he said.

The Canadian Automobile Association has called for a government-funded
public education program to warn of the dangers of marijuana-impaired
driving before the drug is legalized. The group also wants more
funding for police to learn how to recognize and investigate
drug-impaired drivers.

Most, if not all, of the outstanding issues have been examined by a
nine-member federal task force led by former health minister Anne
McLellan. Its report was expected last week, but has been delayed for
two weeks in order to have it available in both English and French.
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