Article by Catherine Cullen, CBC News
The federal task force on marijuana regulation and legalization hands over its final report to the government today, moving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize marijuana one step closer to completion.
The nine members of the task force held roundtables with experts across the country, visited two U.S. states where pot is already legal and got advice from about 28,000 Canadians through online consultations.
It’s expected to take days if not weeks for the government to publicly release the panel’s report. When it does, here are some big outstanding questions to watch for.
Two big reasons why Trudeau says he wants to legalize marijuana are to keep it out of the hands of “children” and to cut off profits to organized crime.
Setting the legal age too high could encourage young people to keep buying from criminal sources. However, the task force’s own discussion paper notes that “science indicates that risks from marijuana usage are elevated until the brain fully matures (i.e., when someone reaches about age 25).”
The U.S. states that have legalized marijuana sales have opted to match the legal drinking age of 21. In Canada, that age is lower — either 18 or 19 years old depending on the province.