Pubdate: Sat, 04 Feb 2017
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Calgary Sun
Author: Annalise Klingbeil
Page: 7


Calgary council goes to school on marijuana legalization

Calgary's elected officials will gather on Monday for an education
session on marijuana, as the legalization of weed looms in Canada.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said council will hear from experts including
officials from American municipalities that have already lifted pot

"We actually have convened a panel. We've brought in some experts from
other places to really talk to use about what the city's response and
reaction is going to have to be from a zoning perspective, from a
bylaw perspective and so on, on marijuana," Nenshi said.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It will be a good opportunity for
us to really get our heads around a pretty significant change that
we're expecting from the federal legislation."

The Trudeau government plans to introduce its legislation to legalize
marijuana this spring, after a final report and recommendations from
the government's Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
was released in December.

The task force spent months gathering input from provincial and
municipal governments, indigenous people and health and addiction
experts and the group's recommendations included requiring plain
packaging for cannabis products and setting a national minimum age of
purchase at 18, with room for individual provinces to "harmonize" the
minimum age with that of buying alcohol and tobacco.

Nenshi said other cities that have already legalized pot have excelled
at keeping data and Monday's educational session will be an
opportunity for Calgary's leaders to learn from others.

"Both the city of Denver and the government of Colorado ... focused on
becoming data warehouses when it happened there so that they'd have
that information to share and they've been extraordinarily generous
with sharing that information to date," he said.

The mayor believes the conversations that will take place at Monday's
education session for council could be useful for all municipalities
across Canada.
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