Premiers Want More Clarity on Legalizing Pot, Say 2018 Deadline ‘May Be Unrealistic’

Article by Rob Ferguson, The Toronto Star

Premiers want more clarity on legalizing pot, say 2018 deadline ‘may be unrealistic’ The premiers said a failure to properly deal with questions such as traffic safety, enforcement, taxation of cannabis, and the black market “will require an extension of the implementation date.”

Canada’s premiers have warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau they may ask him to delay legalization of cannabis until more questions are answered about public safety concerns.

“These issues have to be addressed by the federal government in order for us to meet the deadline,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday as the annual premiers’ conference ended.

“We will move forward as quickly as we can, depending upon the federal government.”

In their final communiqué, the premiers said they are concerned the federal timeline of next July 1 “may be unrealistic.”

They stated a failure to properly deal with provincial questions about traffic safety, enforcement, taxation of cannabis, public education campaigns and the relationship of supply and demand of pot in relationship to the black market “will require an extension of the implementation date.”

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who proposed a one-year delay to his fellow premiers Tuesday, said the issues are too important to rush into legalized sales, with provinces deciding how cannabis products will be sold and what the age of majority will be.

“We have one chance to get it right.”

Trudeau said Wednesday in Quebec City that the federal government is standing firm with plans to table legislation to make cannabis legal next summer.

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