Article by Solomon Israel, CBC News
Full legalization of marijuana appears to be on track for July 2018, which will make Canada just the second nation in the world after Uruguay to completely legalize the cultivation, sale and possession of the drug for medical and recreational purposes.
With lots still unknown before the legislation is unveiled, Canadians have questions about how legalized marijuana will work.
CBC News business reporter Jacqueline Hansen and cbc.ca writer Solomon Israel responded to some of those questions — and comments — during a live chat on Thursday. Here’s a sample.
Government spending spree?
“There’s plenty of discussion about the tax revenue,” wrote Charlie Crabb. “But how will that money be spent? What’s been discussed so far?”
Taxes could be shared between the federal government (responsible for licensing and regulating producers), provincial governments (in charge of setting prices and determining how marijuana is sold), and municipal governments (which can tax within their own jurisdictions).
The federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation recommended the federal government “commit to using revenue from cannabis as a source of funding for administration … research and enforcement,” as well as “a source of funding for prevention, education and treatment.”
Still, the task force felt that “revenue generation should be a secondary consideration for all governments, with the protection and promotion of public health and safety as the primary goals.”
Expect the federal government to keep those recommendations in mind as it prepares for legalization.
What gets legalized next?
Josh Rambeau asked: “Do you think that this legalization, if positive results are seen, might open the door for further legalization of other drugs?”
In January, Toronto-area MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith told CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning he believes all illegal drugs should be decriminalized and eventually legalized.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed the door on that idea on March 2, when he said his government was not considering legalizing any other illicit drugs.