Don't 'Jump to Conclusions' on Pot Timing, Federal Public Safety Minister Says

By Bronskill, Jim | The Canadian Press, February 7, 2018 | Go to article overview

Don't 'Jump to Conclusions' on Pot Timing, Federal Public Safety Minister Says


Bronskill, Jim, The Canadian Press


Short pot 'implementation phase' planned

--

OTTAWA - People shouldn't "jump to conclusions" about when they'll be able to buy marijuana legally, as a key federal bill makes its way through Parliament, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.

There will be an implementation phase that takes a "short period of time" after passage of the bill legalizing recreational marijuana use, Goodale said Wednesday.

But he wasn't saying whether that means people will be able to legally smoke pot as of July, as many have come to expect.

"This is a major, major change in the law. That requires a lot of reorientation in the system," Goodale told reporters.

"And people need to do this in an orderly fashion. Until the law is changed, the law remains the law, and it must be respected. And you cannot jump to conclusions until Parliament has actually finished its work, enacted new legislation, and the royal proclamations have been made and so forth."

The Liberals say the current system of prohibition does not stop young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of pot.

But the legislation is just one element of the plan and the federal and provincial governments are sorting out myriad questions about the availability and sale of pot, as well as allocating resources to implement the new regime.

Some provisions of the proposed Cannabis Act would come into force at royal assent, while others would take effect on a prescribed date -- or possibly in phases.

A federal background document published in May 2017 said the government intended to bring the proposed legislation into force no later than July 2018. …

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