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Canada: Legal Marijuana - 'Cannabis Quebec' Law To Be Tabled Thursday

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
The Couillard government is set to table its long-awaited framework law outlining how the legalization of marijuana will work in Quebec.

But the province also says it wouldn't mind having more time — a year if possible — to implement the complex new system.

"Would it be better if we had an additional year? I think so," the minister of rehabilitation, youth protection, public health and healthy living, Lucie Charlebois, told reporters Wednesday.

She noted more time would allow for negotiations over the future taxes on the product in addition to giving Quebec police forces more leeway to prepare.

The minister made the remarks in reaction to a Coalition Avenir Québec motion calling on the federal government to delay the legalization of marijuana by one year, to July 1, 2019.

Charlebois conceded the delay is unlikely to be granted and said Quebec will be prepared one way or another. On Wednesday, she advised the legislature of her plan to table a pot bill Thursday in the National Assembly.

According to the official order paper, the bill Р"An act to constitute the Soci̩t̩ qu̩b̩cois du cannabis" Рwill enact the province's new Cannabis Regulation Act.

Although the detailed content of the bill will only be available Thursday, certain elements are already known:

- The legal age to buy and consume cannabis in Quebec will be 18; in neighboring Ontario, it will be 19.

- The government will maintain strict control over the distribution and sales of the product. You won't find it at the corner dépanneur.

- You will not be allowed to grow it at home.

- The government will have zero tolerance for driving under the influence although the jury is out on how it will measure the level of the drug in the driver's system.

- The government is expected to model the rules governing consumption on existing tobacco regulations, which means citizens would have to respect a certain distance from public buildings and bars.

- There are reports consumption will be banned on CEGEP and university campuses.

As in Ontario and New Brunswick, Quebec intends to maintain tight control of the distribution and sale of pot.

In fact, if it had its own way this would not be happening at all. Like the other provinces, Quebec has found itself scrambling to prepare the terrain for the legalization because the federal Liberals made it one of their central election promises.

The federal pot bill, C-45, which legalizes consumption and possession of cannabis, is still being studied by a committee of the House of Commons but the Trudeau government wants to adopt it in time for marijuana to be legal in Canada July 1, 2018.

The provinces feel while Ottawa gets the glory of announcing the policy, they have inherited the costs and trouble of applying it. The list of negatives is long, from policing and social costs to the many unknowns on the health side.

Studies have shown marijuana can affect the evolution of young brains, a point made regularly by the more conservative Coalition Avenir Québec opposition party, which called for the legal age to be 21.

Quebec intends to control sales by setting up a network of branches — possibly with the word cannabis in their signs — where the buying and selling will take place. The heavy lifting of the sales operation will be handled by the Société des alcools (SAQ).

There have been unconfirmed reports Quebec will allow online purchases.

The whole package is expected to include a massive public education campaign warning youth of the dangers of consumption.



News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Legal marijuana: ‘Cannabis Quebec’ law to be tabled Thursday | Montreal Gazette
Author: Philip Authier
Contact: Contact | Montreal Gazette
Photo Credit: Justin Tang
Website: Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines & Sports | Montreal Gazette
 
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