Pubdate: Thu, 13 Jul 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Steve Lambert
Page: 7


Manitoba wants to know about your marijuana use as it prepares for

The Manitoba government plans to poll residents about their marijuana
consumption and what kind of rules they would like to see when
recreational pot is legalized next year.

The provincial liquor and gaming authority is looking for a company to
do 15-minute surveys of at least 1,200 Manitobans in the coming months
as it prepares for the new law.

"We don't have a great understanding about cannabis as a substance and
how people use it," said Kristianne Dechant, the authority's
communications and research manager.

"And this is really unlike with liquor and gambling - which are two
products that we currently regulate - where we have a great
understanding about the gaps in people's knowledge."

Dechant said the aim is to develop ways to advise people about safe
levels of consumption - whether the cannabis be eaten, smoked or
otherwise ingested.

"Manitobans are really looking to the province to define what
responsible use could look like and to provide information about how,
if they choose to use it, they could minimize the harm."

Survey results will help shape a "regulatory framework for cannabis
that meets public expectations for safety and consumer protection,"
says the authority's request for proposals issued Tuesday.

The sample must include a reasonable representation across the
province, including people between 18 and 24, "as this demographic is
notoriously hard to reach, yet of particular interest with respect to
cannabis knowledge and choices."

The federal government is setting a minimum age of 18 for pot use, but
many of the details are being left to the provinces, including how and
where cannabis will be sold when the law takes effect next July.

Manitoba has yet to determine where pot will be available at the
retail level and whether the liquor and gaming authority, or some
other agency, will regulate it. Manitoba's Progressive Conservative
government asked Ottawa last December to delay its plan for

Premier Brian Pallister said there were many details still to be
worked out, including who would pay for increased police resources. He
also said a big awareness campaign was needed to convince people of
the dangers of driving while using cannabis.
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