Pubdate: Thu, 13 Jul 2017
Source: Metro (Ottawa, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Metro
Author: Alex Abdelwahab
Page: 2


A new online survey launched Wednesday wants to gather public thoughts
on how Ontario should approach legalizing marijuana.

It wants to know how it can do it in a way that "protects youth,
prevents harms and ensures that Ontario's roads continue to be among
the safest in North America," according to a media release.

Among the questions are "Would you support the Ontario government
putting in place stricter penalties (e.g. increased fines, longer
licence suspensions) for drug-impaired driving?" and "What public
health and safety measures are most important to you as we determine
who should sell and distribute cannabis in Ontario?"

Eugene Oscapella, an Ottawa lawyer who teaches drug policy at the
University of Ottawa, reviewed the survey questions at Metro's request.

"These questions are useful to shed some light on things that policy
makers may need to pay attention to," he said, adding that he hopes
the province will use it in that way and not as conclusive evidence
that we need to change cannabis laws in a particular direction.

"You want a policy to be evidence-based," he said. "What is the impact
of cannabis on driving? What is the likely impact going to be? What is
the extent to which cannabis affects the developing brain and should
we be more concerned with that than we are with alcohol, which also,
by the way, affects the developing brain."

The Ontario Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat will host a series of
expert forums this summer.
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