Pubdate: Thu, 13 Apr 2017
Source: Telegram, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2017 The Telegram
Author: James McLeod
Page: A1


Parsons promises public consultation soon on legal marijuana

The government will start public consultations within the next month
or two on how to implement marijuana legalization in Newfoundland and
Labrador, Justice Minister Andrew Parsons said.

On Thursday, the federal government will unveil the legislation for
legalization of marijuana use, which will set out the overall
framework for how things will work.

But according to a news report by the CBC, important aspects of the
new marijuana system will be up to provincial discretion - the age
that you can legally buy the drug, how it's distributed and what the
retail price will be.

When it comes to these decisions, the government will look for public
input, Parsons said.

"The consultation phase, I think you're going to see that roll out
within the next month," Parsons said.

"Consultation is definitely key here."

He said the government will also make a point of consulting with
"stakeholders" such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical
Association and police. Parsons has been asked repeatedly over the
past several months about what legalized marijuana would look like in
Newfoundland and Labrador, and he hasn't given a clear sense of a
preferred model for the government.

One option would be independent storefront dispensaries; another
option would be to involve the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp.
in the selling of pot.

Parsons stressed this is something that touches nearly every
department of the government - Justice through enforcement, Health,
Service NL regulation, Finance from a taxation point of view and so

"No doubt there's a lot of challenges here. This is a huge,
fundamental shift for our province, and for the country," Parsons
said. "When it comes to what we're in control of, I'm extremely
confident that we'll have everything done in our power to make sure
that our province is ready to move, when the timeline comes down."

When asked whether he will personally partake in marijuana after it's
legalized, Parsons said, "What I would say, Mr. Mcleod, is that's none
of your business."
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