Parry Sound-Muskoka’s Federal Liberal Riding Association President says today’s Liberal pot legislation is welcomed by many locals.
“I’m proud to see the government of Canada is sticking to one of the promises that we made during the election campaign,” Tricia Cowie tells Muskoka News Watch. “It was a major promise – I know a lot of people in this area will be looking forward to this legislation and for the same reason I’m looking forward to it – keeping our kids safer by restricting access to it and also taking the power and the money away from organised crime.”
The legislation aims to end the current prohibition on pot and regulate the recreational sale, use and cultivation of marijuana. Secondly it seeks to strengthen measures to end impaired driving.
If passed, the legislation would let people possess up to 30 grams of dried or fresh cannabis while setting the minimum at 18 years of age, while giving provinces and territories the ability to set a higher legal age limit.
As well, residents would be able to grow up to four pot plants at their home or purchase pot from a licensed retailer.
Cowie, the former Federal Liberal Candidate for Parry Sound -Muskoka is also a lawyer. She commented on how the new legislation, when passed, will help local residents on the legal front.
Not all in local politics are as enthused with the Federal Liberals making good on their campaign pledge.
Parry Sound-Muskoka MP, Tony Clement, said he has many questions today, including how it will ‘protect our youth, fully address drug-impaired driving and impact provinces, municipalities and law enforcement.’
“I am still waiting to hear how the Liberals will answer some serious questions around legalizing marijuana,” stated Clement via a press release. “Of paramount importance is how they will protect our children against the dangers of the drug, especially if the black market can’t be stamped out. There is also uncertainty around the Liberals attempt to address drug-impaired driving. It is a serious issue that deserves more than scrambled together changes to the criminal code.”
Clement said the Liberal legislation creates uncertainty in many areas, including the following:
· Where are the details on how our kids will be protected? If the age of possession is set at 18, and the medical community says it’s not safe for people under the age of 25, how are our youth being protected from the adverse effects? There is also no evidence the black market will be curbed.
· What are the costs of legalization? Is there any plan to collaborate with municipalities and provinces, or will the government just download all the responsibility and cost for implementation and enforcement to them?
· Will the issue of testing for drug-impaired driving be fully addressed? There are currently no comparable tools to detecting alcohol impairment. What exact tools are going to be used for pot detection, and who will pay the costs?
· How will this legislation impact any Canadian smoking marijuana who wants to travel into the United States?
· Is legalization really going to take the criminal element out of pot sales? A recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) stated that when legalization of marijuana occurs, the government may be unable to keep the price of legal cannabis below the black market price on the street.
Clement said he also has concerns the Liberal insiders are poised to make big profits from the legalizing of marijuana, as evidenced in a recent Globe and Mail article:
“There are many lingering questions around this proposed law. Conservatives will continue to raise these significant concerns about the Liberal approach to marijuana in the interest of public health and safety, and especially for our young people,” said Clement.
Photo via triciacowie.liberal.ca