Pubdate: Sun, 19 Nov 2017
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Calgary Sun
Page: 15


The rules governing legal marijuana sales in Alberta, released by the
NDP government on Thursday, are a bit uptight.

Really!? Licensed pot dispensaries won't be able to sell customers
tortilla chips at the same time they sell them a 4g bag of Purple Kush
or Grape Ape or Bubba Rockstar? Do the NDP truly believe that
consumption of Doritos leads to overdosing on weed use rather than the
other way around?

What's the problem with letting Albertans kill two cravings with one

There will also be strict rules against selling marijuana in the same
stores as tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. The ban on with
cigarettes or beer makes no sense.

But the Alberta rules are far and away the best rules of any province
that has released its regulations so far. And they are liberal enough
that they should encourage most pot smokers to "go legal" route rather
than continuing to buy in the criminal market.

Retail marijuana sales will be handled by the private sector. That's
the #1 best decision the Notley government has made.

It's not hard to imagine that within a few short years Alberta will be
crisscrossed with hundreds of pot shops in communities large and
small; shops that are open most hours of the day and night as the
market demands.

By contrast, Ontario will permit only government pot stores and will
open only 40 in the first year, perhaps reaching 150 stores at the end
of three years. That will almost certainly not satisfy the demand in a
province with a population more than three times that of Alberta,
which means the black market will continue to flourish in Ontario,
along with the criminal underground that supplies it.

Alberta has also introduced legislation that would define impaired pot
driving in much the same way as drinking and driving. In Quebec, no
driving will be permitted after any toking. That will simply encourage

Quebec also won't allow any home cultivation of pot and will severely
limit how much marijuana residents may keep in their homes. Here,
Albertans will be allowed to keep up to four plants for personal use,
another blow to black market bud. (Why buy it from an illegal dealer
when you can grow it yourself cheaply and easily?)

One restriction that Alberta will share with other provinces is a
prohibition against smoking weed in public parks and other spaces
frequented by minors.

We'd like to see relaxed rules around music festivals (just as we were
happy to see some of the rules around beer gardens at these events
relaxed - a bit). But since it is possible for kids to get a bit
buzzed from inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke (the National
Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens says it is "unlikely but possible"),
it may be best to err on the side of caution at family-oriented
events, at least for the time being.

Yet, while there is a certain degree of uptightness in the Alberta
rules, they are much better than those of any other province.
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MAP posted-by: Matt