Canadian Cities Challenged by Federal Government’s Pot Plan: Vancouver Mayor

Article by Grant Robertson, The Globe and Mail

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The federal government’s handling of marijuana legalization has created problems that Canada’s cities are unequipped to handle, Vancouver’s mayor says.

Ottawa’s plan to legalize the drug – a key piece of the Liberal election platform last fall – has spawned hundreds of storefront dispensaries across the country ahead of the legislation, although the federal government has taken no responsibility for the boom it has created.

Cities such as Vancouver and Toronto are grappling with problems ranging from policing and zoning to the discovery of potentially dangerous contaminants in some of the dispensary products that pose a threat to public health.

“The lack of federal regulation and oversight has made the marijuana issue a city problem,” Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson told The Globe and Mail in an interview. “And cities don’t have the capacity or expertise to deal with it.”

Mr. Robertson’s comments follow recent revelations that Health Canada was warned about harmful contaminants in marijuana sold at several Vancouver dispensaries, but did not act.

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