Province Will ‘Wait and See’ as Feds Move to Legalize Marijuana, Says N.L. Justice Minister

Article by Daniel MacEachern, CBC News

Andrew Parsons says he's supportive of federally driven process, says government will do it right. Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister Andrew Parsons says marijuana legalization will require a co-ordinated approach across many government departments.

In the wake of the recent revelation that the Canadian government plans to legalize marijuana by July 2018, Newfoundland and Labrador’s justice minister says the province is taking a “wait and see” approach.

“We have no choice” but to prepare for legalization, Andrew Parsons told CBC on Tuesday, adding that he’s supportive of the federal government’s decision.

“It is a federally driven process, though, so we have to sort of wait and see and work with our colleagues.”

But marijuana legalization is not just a justice-driven initiative, pointed out Parsons.

“Finance has a role here. When you think about the provincial role when it comes to distribution and taxation, that’s something that would fall completely outside of my department. Health and Community Services has a huge role to play in this. Service NL, when it comes to regulation. This is a government-wide conversation.”

‘Great deal of work and consultation’

The Toronto member of Parliament who is the federal government’s point man on legalization agrees.

Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the federal justice minister and attorney general, said there’s been a “great deal of work and consultation” across Canada for the past 18 months, because nobody will be acting in isolation on legalization.

Read full article here.

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