Article by Patrick Cain, Global News
At some point in the New Year, the Liberals will unveil details of how recreational marijuana will be legalized.
There will be a lot of moving parts, and not much to go on. Canada is the first industrialized country to completely legalize recreational marijuana (four U.S. states have, and four more will follow after referendum results in November).
One thing it won’t be, the government has made it clear, is a free-for-all.
The task force’s discussion paper makes frequent use of the word “strict.” Production systems will have rules that are strict. Public sites for pot use will be strictly limited. Government will “enforce a system of strict production, distribution and sales”. Marketing will be “strictly limited”. For good measure, pot will be produced and sold under a “strict, well-regulated system”.
The message so far — yes, we’re legalizing pot, but the grownups are in charge.
The final decisions are up to Parliament, but the task force’s final report, released earlier in December (with 30 further uses of the word ‘strict’ or its variations), may offer an early hint about the direction the Liberals want to take.