Canada’s Premiers Discuss Delaying Cannabis Legalization

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said that it is time to take a deep breath and talk about delaying the cannabis legalization.

Premier Pallister is standing strong in an attempt to persuade his provincial and territorial counterparts at their annual conference to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to postpone the legalization of recreational cannabis for an additional 12 months.

The original plan to legalize marijuana on a recreational level, which means that it will be available in the open market to all those that are qualified by law to purchase it, was for the law to take action as of July 1st, 2018.

Premier Pallister claims that this delay would give them the sufficient time to determine how they will decide the minimum age allowed for the purchase of recreational cannabis. The current system in place for tobacco and alcohol in which states decide on their own has not proven to be a long term solution. He hopes to avoid that, saying: “I would hope we could learn from that and not recreate that for cannabis”.

Another Premier that stood by his side is Saskatchewan representative Brad Wall, who said that his province is working toward the deadline of Canada Day in 2018, but wouldn’t mind an extension because there are “a lot of moving parts” in legalizing cannabis.

Premier of Nova Scotia, Stephen McNeil, said that the small size of the Maritime provinces has to be kept in mind in order for all the states to be in sync, although he has said that “his administration believes it can meet the July 1 deadline next year.”.

Premier McNeil said the age limit should be set at 19 as it “makes sense” since the age of people buying marijuana should be the same age his province has set for alcohol.

Premier Philippe Couillard said a delay would be “fine” but he isn’t expecting one as Quebec is on time to make the July 1st deadline.

“We’ve heard the prime minister say he was very firm on July 1… so we’re working under the assumption that this will be the date. A lot of work needs to be done.”

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