Pubdate: Tue, 26 Sep 2017
Source: Guardian, The (CN PI)
Copyright: 2017 The Guardian, Charlottetown Guardian Group Incorporated
Author: Karen Jackson (Karen Jackson is president of UPSE.)
Page: A11


UPSE supports public model for marijuana

The federal government is set to legalize marijuana in July 2018.

The P.E.I. government indicated that it will introduce legislation to
regulate the sale of the product in the spring. Recently, in Ontario
the government has chosen to distribute the sale of marijuana through
the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). The government and the
province's public sector union agree that having the LCBO regulate the
sale of cannabis is the best way to protect minors from purchasing the
product, and to ensure quality control and public safety.

Whatever age P.E.I. decides to make the minimum age for purchasing and
using marijuana, it will be key to have the minimum age properly
enforced at the point of sale. The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission
(P.E.I. LCC) has a proven record of enforcing the minimum age and
actively promotes social responsibility as part of its mandate. The
LCC also has the resources and ability to deliver public education
about safe and appropriate use, as well as the risks and consequences
of drug-impaired driving.

In P.E.I., private cannabis dispensaries have not emerged as is the
case in Ontario. In Ontario police have raided and shut down many of
them, only to have them re-open. These establishments were willing to
break the law and operate in areas of high youth activity in order to
keep selling cannabis illegally. All private dispensaries across
Ontario will be shut down over the next year in preparation for the
government controlled public system. In P.E.I. this step will not be
necessary since there are no private dispensaries in operation. This
eases the implementation of the public model in P.E.I. for government.

UPSE recognizes that the best way to keep minors from purchasing
cannabis is to control its sale through the P.E.I. LCC. It's also the
best way to ensure product safety and social responsibility for all

We believe it's more responsible to use the public model when
dispensing a government controlled substance and enforcing minimum age
restrictions. UPSE will continue to lobby government to use the public
model for the sale and distribution of cannabis. It's the safest and
most responsible way to proceed and profits are re-invested into vital
public services like health care, education and services that keep our
communities healthy and safe for all Islanders.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt