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Pontiac’s Cannabis Day celebration

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Added: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:43pm
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Is the Pontiac ready for Cannabis Day? Pot legalization is scheduled for July 1, 2018 and there are still many details to be understood by individuals and all levels of government before that date.
Québec has been consulting the public on the ramifications of cannabis legalization, hearing from many interveners, including school boards and the provincial opposition like the CAQ, who want stricter rules on pot smoking. Consultations have shown people want to grow marijuana for their own use, but what will be the legal limit? How strong should the active component of marijuana, THC, be allowed? Some contend that taxes should be high to discourage pot use.
Québec City will be setting many of the necessary legal standards about the public use of marijuana. Will it institute an educational program to warn people about the dangers and consequences of driving after pot use? How much tax revenue on the sale of pot will be shared with MRCs and consequently local municipalities? Where will marijuana be sold? Will police forces be trained to test people under the suspicion of driving while high?
The federal government has more work to do on its law. For example,  decriminalizing people – that is, giving people amnesty if they were convicted of simple possession—has to be settled. Tens of thousands of people are
currently saddled with criminal records; this change could give them a new lease on life.
Municipalities are waiting for the federal and provincial rules. It appears local mayors are not implicated in this major social project so far, suggesting that they don’t foresee any problems with the implementation of legalization. However, there will be local issues such as where people can smoke in public; are local by-laws up to the task? Are municipalities lobbying for their share of tax revenues, in
the same way they share revenue from the gas pump sales? Who will be allowed to grow marijuana to help supply the necessary demand?
At the local level, it has been suggested that a large marijuana farm could be
developed in the Pontiac to produce clean contaminant-free marijuana for the market place. Naturally if this to become a reality it might become a very interesting and busy place in the Pontiac’s agri-tourism circuit as a destination of choice and a boon to the local economy.
Québec seems content in allowing about twenty-five stores to start selling to the public, aiming to grow to about 150 stores within two years. The question arises: will Pontiac residents have to drive to Gatineau in order to legally buy marijuana?
Canada Day 2018 promises to be an interesting day, with cannabis high on the radar of Canadians. Needless to say, public discussion in the Pontiac must start now.

Carl Hager
Rédacteur EN chef interim /
Interim Managing Editor