This is information form MP Leona Alleslev's April 28th, 2018 Town Hall with MP Bill Blair.
MP Alleslev and MP Bill Blair, former Toronto Police Chief and current Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice and to the Minister of Health, discussed the upcoming legalization and regulation of cannabis, and how the new laws will be implemented and enforced. Mayor Dave Barrow also answered questions, and took some notes.
Residents wanted to know how the new legalization and regulation framework will impact their community.
The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.
Following Royal Assent, the legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis. This would mean that possession of small amounts of cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence and would prevent profits from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs. The Bill would also, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.
In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the Government is toughening laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. Under the Government’s proposed legislation, new offences would be added to the Criminal Code to enforce a zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs. Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body.
“As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes. Our government’s plan to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it. ” related Bill Blair.
“In order to achieve our society’s goal of preventing criminals and organized crime from profiting from the illegal sale and distribution of cannabis, while ensuring cannabis is kept out of the hands of our Canadian youth, it is important for all of us to clearly understand the new laws and how they will be implemented and enforced.” – Leona Alleslev
A Few Facts:
- The Cannabis Act proposes that legal sales of cannabis would be restricted to people who are 18 years of age and over. Provinces and territories could increase the minimum legal age of sale, purchase and consumption.
- The movement of cannabis and cannabis products across international borders would remain a serious criminal offence.
- Following Royal Assent, the Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force. At that time, adults would legally be able to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household at a maximum height of one metre from a legal seed or seedling. Until the new law comes into force, cannabis will remain illegal everywhere in Canada, except for medical purposes.
- The provinces and territories would authorize and oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis, subject to minimum federal conditions. In those jurisdictions that have not put in place a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from a federally licensed producer with secure home delivery through the mail or by courier.
- The proposed legislation would amend the Criminal Code to modernize and simplify the transportation provisions, strengthen the criminal law responses to impaired driving, and facilitate the effective and efficient investigation and prosecution of drug- and alcohol-impaired driving.
- To facilitate detection and investigation of drug-impaired driving, law enforcement officers will be authorized and equipped to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside.
More info to be found at these links:
- Related Products Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis
- BACKGROUNDER: Legalizing and regulating cannabis: the facts
- BACKGROUNDER: Roles and responsibilities
- BACKGROUNDER: Impaired driving