Reaction to the Liberals proposed bills to legalize marijuana

By Dominic Abassi
April 13, 2017 - 3:29pm Updated: April 13, 2017 - 4:28pm

Thursday marked the unveiling of the Liberals highly-anticipated framework for legalizing marijuana.The Canadian Press

NANAIMO — The federal Liberals unveiled their long-awaited proposed legal pot regime Thursday.

Here's some local reaction to details in the legislation.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson:

"It's been a longer time coming than I would have expected and it's going to take a long time for the changes to come into effect so that leaves a lot of people in limbo."

On the impact on the justice system: "We had hoped from the NDP side that the government was going to act first to remove simple possession from the criminal code. That would've had an immediate savings for the criminal justice system and an immediate benefit for young people especially who are harmed from getting a criminal record for something that we now say shouldn't be criminal."

"I'm hearing all the time from people in the community they're frustrated to see police resources going to something the Prime Minister himself has admitted to smoking and is saying soon will no longer be a crime."

On whether the proposed framework will eliminate the black market for marijuana: "The question of how good the enforcement is and whether we really are able to drive this entirely into the legal market is going to be completely in the hands of the province because they're the ones that do the enforcement on this. I don't have a really good sense that the province has been very involved on the ground here."

"For Nanaimo especially, because we have Tilray, a major employer who has followed all the rules...and then we've got these very ad hoc pop-up dispensaries who are really in limbo and I know that's had a negative impact on some of the local businesses. For our community it's going to be good to get resolution on this."

Amanda Orum, cannabis advocate and representative for the Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition:

"I'm very happy to hear we're allowed to hold 30 grams and grow four plants...and that the provinces are allowed to approve the retail section."

On how driving while high will be enforced: "I have nothing wrong with what's proposed...they'll be using oral swabs for road side tests then they limit they amount of THC you're allowed to have in your system. They're really cracking down on impaired driving and I'm okay with that, but I'm not okay with how they use the science for regulation."

"THC gets stored in your fat, so if you're burning off fat all of a sudden your THC will go in to your blood stream, so this may be an issue that will get challenged in the court."

On regulations requiring retailers to sell product only supplied by licensed producers: "It's the one thing I'm going 'oh no' about. On the plus side is that distributors and retailers must maintain their paperwork...(however) the retail market for cannabis in Nanaimo is very huge...I don't feel comfortable that the license producers are prepared for the demand that's going to come there way."


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