Pubdate: Sat, 15 Apr 2017
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Pamela Cowan
Page: A3
Referenced: Cannabis Act:


When the federal government enacts legislation to legalize
recreational marijuana next year, Ryan Murray hopes Saskatchewan sets
the age limit at 19 - the province's legal drinking age.

"There shouldn't be an age difference," said Murray, co-owner of
Cannabis Health Clinic in Regina. "From the research I've done, access
to cannabis before the age of 21 isn't necessarily the best thing
unless it's for medical purposes."

On Thursday, the federal government introduced the long-awaited bill
to legalize marijuana. The suite of bills would establish 18 as the
minimum legal age to buy pot. The new legislation will allow
provinces, territories and municipalities to tailor rules for their

Adults over 18 will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried
cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried
cannabis with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a
provincially regulated retailer.

"Recreationally, 30 grams is plenty," Murray said. "There's no reason
that you should ever need more than that at one given time ... If
you're using more than 30 grams at a party - that's a helluva party."

He believes allowing adults to grow up to four plants for personal use
is one of the best aspects of the proposed new law.

"I come from a growing background and I know that it's therapeutic,
it's calming, it's an escape for me where I can just go and spend time
in my garden," Murray said.

However, he concedes allowing the growing of pot in homes will be a
headache for law enforcement.

"It will be a huge problem to regulate - will they have to knock on
every door on the block to make sure they're only growing four
plants?" Murray said. "And then you run into a house that's allowed to
grow 100 plants legally through Health Canada. That's the biggest 

Patrick Warnecke, owner/operator of Best Buds Society in Regina,
applauds the federal government's first steps to legalizing
recreational marijuana. But he's upset no one from the cannabis
industry was involved in consultations prior to the feds introducing
the legislation.

Warnecke hopes the Saskatchewan government corrects that omission as
they hash out provincial rules prior to July 1, 2018, when the
legislation is expected to come into effect.

In a written statement, the Saskatchewan government said the Ministry
of Justice is reviewing the new federal legislation and noted many
details and components are not yet clear.

"We continue to be concerned about the public safety risks with
marijuana impaired driving. We are happy to see the zero-tolerance
approach, but at the same time it is incredibly difficult for police
to identify who is impaired as technology is not yet proven in this

The province approves the increased penalties for people who provide
marijuana to young persons, but is concerned about the cost for police
to train drug recognition experts.

"And this is, presently, the only way to identify those that may be
impaired. We hope to see federal funding to accompany the
strengthening of marijuana impaired driving."

Warnecke is concerned about how people will be tested for

"We have to make sure that the devices are appropriate and that
they're testing for intoxication, not for finding cannabis in your
system, which I think is the hard part," he said.

Warnecke also wonders about the rationale for selecting four as the
magic number of plants that can be grown, and observed that people
aren't limited to how much wine or beer they make at home.

"A person could grow a 12-foot plant or a 24-foot plant if they wanted
- - there are so many variables," he said.

"You could grow it a foot off the ground, but it could spread out 20
feet in every direction."

- - With files from The Canadian Press
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