Pubdate: Thu, 14 Dec 2017
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The StarPhoenix
Author: Phil Tank
Page: A1


Clark says municipalities will have extra costs for policing,

Mayor Charlie Clark says cities like Saskatoon will face the toughest
financial challenges when marijuana is legalized in six months, and he
wants to make sure sufficient resources exist.

Clark said he welcomed the news from the federal government this week
that 75 per cent of the expected $400 million in revenue from taxes on
marijuana will go to the provinces.

Now, Clark said he would like a clearer picture from the provincial
government on how that will work in terms of funding the municipal
response to legalized cannabis.

Both the federal government and the province have clearly identified
policing as the expected main area that will require additional
resources once pot becomes legal on July 1, Clark said.

"It's cities that run police services, and municipalities pay for
police services," Clark said in an interview Wednesday. "I can't say
whether that (marijuana legalization) will require more police
officers or not."

Beyond extra costs for policing, there are other considerations like
zoning, business licences and building standards for properties where
marijuana is grown, Clark said.

The Saskatchewan Party government has yet to decide on a direction for
its policy on marijuana; that could be delayed until after a new party
leader and premier is chosen on Jan. 27.

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association urged the province
in the fall to release its plans for marijuana legalization so
municipalities have some time to adjust. "It is a challenge," Clark
said of the uncertainty. "The rubber hits the road in the cities in
terms of how this is going to work."

Clark said he has spoken briefly with Finance Minister Donna Harpauer
about funding to deal with marijuana legalization, but not since the
federal government made the announcement about the tax revenue
breakdown on Monday.

The major effect on police forces is expected to be increased
enforcement of impaired driving laws.

A saliva test for drug impairment is expected to be

The regulations introduced so far in other provinces have varied.
Some, like Ontario, will sell marijuana through government-run stores,
while others, like Alberta, will regulate private outlets.

The federal government has set the minimum age for marijuana
consumption at 18, but provinces can increase it.

Saskatchewan's provincial government has suggested it will not pursue
government-run marijuana stores, but will grant landlords the right to
ban renters from growing, selling or using marijuana on their property.
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