Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Tim Kalinowski
Page: A3


Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz opposes to the federal
government's decision to legalize marijuana. The Liberal government
made the announcement on Monday it would be going ahead with its
legalization plan by July 1, 2018.

"I am personally opposed to the legalizing of marijuana, and how it is
being presented," states Motz.

Drawing on his policing background, Motz says there is no proof
legalization will do anything to get rid of illegal drug gangs or
increase government revenues. According to Motz, the only direct
impact will be on impaired driving rates.

"The police chiefs were proposing minor possession of marijuana be
removed from the criminal category. I am in favour of that. It makes
sense to do that, but a full scale legalization, we only have to look
at jurisdictions in North America who already have this in place.

Speaking about Colorado and Washington specifically, their health-care
costs are starting to rise. Criminal activity has not diminished, as
was promised. Road accidents death by impairment in Washington state,
I believe, they were doubled. And Colorado were tripled or quadrupled.
When it comes to a public safety issue, I am very concerned about the
use of marijuana."

According to a recent report in the Ottawa Citizen, impaired driving
rates doubled in Colorado between 2007 and 2012. And, according to a
report by Live Science, the percentage of drivers involved in fatal
crashes who had traces of marijuana in their blood has doubled since
marijuana was legalized in Washington state. However, the states' own
law enforcement agencies report no actual increase in the impaired
driving stats due to marijuana usage since the drug was legalized in
2014. On the other hand, there is widespread agreement current
roadside tests which measure marijuana impairment are unreliable.

Motz says this is why the Trudeau government should hold off on

"Why would you want to push legalized marijuana on society when there
are no confirmed, roadside-screening devices to test THC impairment?
It's putting the cart before the horse in that aspect."

Motz also says Canada's legal system isn't ready for

"If we are going to legalize, how will it be managed? Will it be
downloaded on the provinces to try provide a regulation for it?
Government's role should be about public safety."

He believes the Liberals are trying to mask their broken campaign
promises on public infrastructure spending, and on running limited
deficits, by trumpeting marijuana legalization.

"I actually hope this is one of his many campaign promises they will
not be able to follow through on," states Motz. "I don't think it is
well thought-out. I don't think it makes a lot of sense. And I don't
think if Canadians were to weigh-in on this conversation, you would
find the majority supportive."
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