Pubdate: Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Source: Tribune, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017, Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Ralph Goodale
Page: A4


If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep
marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing
to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject

 From the very beginning, health and safety objectives have been in the
forefront of our approach to cannabis. The new legislation we
introduced last week reflects that - to do a better job of protecting
our kids and fighting crime.

We have benefited from the thorough, balanced and thoughtful advice of
an expert task force which gathered the best available data, medical
and legal input, the experiences of other jurisdictions around the
world and the views of a vast array of Canadians. Our proposals are in
line with their recommendations.The new law would create a strong
framework for legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting the use
of cannabis:

Only adults (18 years of age and older) will have legal access to the
product through an appropriate retail framework, and sourced from a
safe and well-regulated industry, or grown in small amounts at home
(i.e., a maximum of four plants in any one residence);

Provinces will be able to set a higher minimum age or a lower home
limit, if they deem that appropriate; and it will be legal for adults
to possess, use and share (with other adults) up to 30 grams in public;

Commercial producers of cannabis will have to be federally-licensed
and security cleared. Municipalities will be able to enact local
bylaws reflecting community preferences (e.g., where cannabis is
produced or consumed);

Serious criminal penalties will apply to all those operating outside
this framework, with a strong focus on illicit production and
trafficking, those who try to exploit children and youth, and
drug-impaired driving;

For a young person (under 18), it will be an offence to possess, use
or share marijuana;

Promotion, packaging, labelling and display will be tightly controlled
to prevent appeals to young people;

The new law will be accompanied by a strong public education campaign
to explain risks and dangers associated with the use of pot,
especially by young people, and to warn against irresponsible
behaviour at any age.

In tandem with Canada's new legal framework for cannabis, the
government is also renovating the law dealing with impaired driving of
all kinds. Beyond a vigorous effort to raise public awareness about
the deadliness of such reckless conduct, we are providing law
enforcement agencies with clearer laws, better technologies (including
new roadside oral testing devices), stronger and more expeditious
procedures (including better access to blood tests), more training and
other resources, and tougher penalties to deal appropriately with
offenders - and to keep Canada's roadways and communities safe.

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety
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