Province Asks for Public Feedback on Federal Plan to Legalize Marijuana

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With the Canadian government set to legalize marijuana next year, Ontario is seeking public input on the Trudeau Liberals’ plan.

The federal Cannabis Act was introduced in April of this year, and now, the federal government is calling on provincial and territorial governments to set their own frameworks on regulating the distribution, sale and consumption of the substance.

The provincial government says it wants to approach the legalization in a way that protects youth, prevents harm, and ensures road safety.

Mississaugans can have their say on issues related to legalizing marijuana next year by participating in an online survey before July 31.

If all goes according to plan, pot should be legal by July 2018 (Happy birthday, Canada?).

“The legalization of cannabis will mark a big change in our country. Here in Ontario, we have some important decisions to make - and with so much at stake, we need to get it right. That’s why we need to hear from the people of Ontario as we develop an approach to legalization that keeps our youth, communities and roads safe,” said Attorney General Yasir Naqvi.

There’s a whole secretariat dedicated to this feedback project - The Ontario Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat - that will host forums and engagement sessions over the summer on the potential impacts of legalizing marijuana.

Individuals and organizations will also be able to give their input by completing a consultation paper.

Overall, the province hopes to hear from a broad range of participants including municipal partners, public health experts, law enforcement, community agencies, youth advocates, Indigenous communities and licenced producers.

For some more background, to go alongside the legislation, the federal government has also introduced a bill that would, if passed, update the Criminal Code to include tougher penalties for drug-impaired driving, including impairment by cannabis and other drugs.

Further, the province says it’s working with Indigenous communities and organizations to inform the response to the federal plan to legalize cannabis.

Finally, Ontario recently made changes to allow police to immediately remove drivers from the road who they believe are impaired by drugs, including cannabis.

To take the survey, click here.

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