Pubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2017
Source: Moose Jaw Times-Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The Moose Jaw Times-Herald Group Inc.
Author: Joshua Santos
Page: A1


Saskatchewan Government looking to privatize marijuana

Saskatchewan's government is not interested in operating pot

Instead, they want to concentrate on regulating the

"We do not want to be in any ownership or marketing," said Don Morgan,
Saskatchewan's Justice Minister.

"We want to be responsible for ensuring that there's a regulatory
scheme in place and we want to make sure it's a confidently, well-run
regulatory scheme, but we don't want to own it, market it or warehouse
it ourselves."

Rece Allen, a long-time Moose Jaw resident and employee of Vintage
Vinyl and Hemp Emporium understands the government's position but
notes that policies can only go so far in combatting a black market.

"Much like with liquor or tobacco, the government doesn't have a lot
of say in the production, they just ensure that it reaches a set
criteria and that it's safe for the public," Allen said.

He said that if the product were accepted, it would determine whether
it flies off the shelves in at a business. The government is preparing
its legislation for the legalization of marijuana in the province by
Dec. 7. Morgan told media his department is working with different
ministries before the law is introduced.

"There'll be things that come out in the near future dealing with the
operational usage of a motor vehicle. Those are done through Minister
Hargrave and SGI and the Ministry of the Economy would be coming out
with some pieces of the distribution and marketing," said Morgan.

How the government determines how impaired a person may be would be
difficult to enforce.

"The thing with marijuana is there's a lot of studies that show that
it stays in your system up to 30 days, maybe even 60 days," said
Allen. "If you consume a marijuana cigarette or a joint, three weeks
ago let's say, you can potentially fail a test although you're
certainly no longer impaired. Judging impairment is certainly going to
be a difficult avenue for them."

This follows a new study by the University of Regina's Johnson Shoyama
Graduate School (JSGS) of Public Policy. The institution made 40
recommendations on how the legalization of marijuana should be dealt
with in the province. These include looking at the experiences of
other jurisdictions, - such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington -
focusing on a full spectrum of education, harmonizing the legal
cannabis age limit with the legal age limits for alcohol, addressing
driving impairment and looking at a market structure. It also suggests
the province can gain $250 million in revenue if pot were priced at
$10 a gram.

"The people in the Ministry of Justice are looking not just at the
legislations that's coming, but also the various studies that have
come. There's one that came from U of R, we had a brief look at that
one," said Morgan.

Determining the age limit is a task the government is still

"You would like to have an age that's old enough that it would keep it
out of schools, but not make it so restrictive that you're trying to
bolster an unground economy. Those are the kind of considerations that
would take place," Morgan said.

Allen used the example of alcohol in Alberta and the age limit

"Once you're 18, if you live here in Moose Jaw, you can drive over to
Medicine Hat, buy as much liquor as you want and bring it back," said
Allen, noting the same could be done with marijuana.

Morgan said his primary concern is the protecting young people and
keeping impaired drivers off the road.

Provinces and territories in the country are drawing up their own
legislation in light of the federal government legalizing marijuana by
July 1, 2018.
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