Cannabis consultation answers questions and gives reassurance

Added: Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:10pm
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Gaétan Forgues & François Carrier
(tr. AB)

FORT-COULONGE – Will Amos, Pontiac MP, accompanied by Joël Lightbound, MP for Louis-Hébert, held an information session on the Liberal government's approach to legislation, access and restriction of cannabis in Canada. The session was held at the Pontiac Conference Center on September 12 in front of a dozen people.
Earlier the same day, Amos held meetings in Portage-du-Fort, Île-du-Grand-Calumet and Fort-Coulonge as part of his annual regional tour. He also met constituents in other areas of his riding on September 11 and 13.
Amos said the purpose of the meeting was to provide context for the Government
of Canada's commitment to legalize, enforce and restrict access to cannabis.
Concerned that the federal government has not considered all the consequences, a citizen asked if there has been adequate assessment of the new cannabis legislation. “Currently, Canada has the highest rate of marijuana use among youth aged 18 to 24 in the OECD countries,” replied Lightbound.  “Prohibition doesn't work because we have no control. We must control consumption; it is the only way to improve the situation.”
Lightbound then explained the government’s motivations for legalization: to restrict young people's access to cannabis; eliminate the illegal market; discourage criminal activity by imposing heavy penalties; protect public health by subjecting products to stringent safety and quality requirements; reduce the burden on the criminal justice system; and allow adults to access and possess regulated cannabis of controlled qualities.
“Above all, the black market will have a much harder time. We are lucky to have examples of governments who have legalized and managed cannabis consumption. The result is clear: their situations improved. Young people who want to try it can at least know they are supplied with controlled products. Moreover, the provinces will be able to use the money obtained from the sale of cannabis and invest it in prevention instead of leaving profits in the black market,” explained Lightbound, announcing the government has established a task force to advise on the new legislation.  They have also brought forward Bill C-45.
Tabled in the House of Commons by the Department of Justice, Bill C-45 allows
federal, provincial and territorial governments to each have a role in the new system, the right to change the federal government's rules to better serve their province, and to decide how and where the sale of cannabis should be done.
The evening ended with a public question period.