Article by Montreal Gazette
Quebec premier Philippe Couillard has ignored concerns raised by many members of his own Liberal caucus and decided the minimum age for the consumption of legal marijuana in Quebec will be 18.
The private sector will not play a role in the sale and distribution of marijuana in Quebec once federal legislation makes the drug legal next July, La Presse reported Friday. Rather, a government agency similar to and perhaps a part of Quebec’s liquor board will be charged with overseeing the retail end of cannabis sales.
Couillard’s reported decision is the latest in a series of policy reversals by the Liberal government on the issue of how to administer legal marijuana in Quebec, and will likely raise the ire of the Coalition Avenir Québec, the opposition party that has called for a minimum age of 21 for the consumption of marijuana.
Couillard has already argued publicly that setting 21 as a minimum age would simply drive younger users to the black market.
While the Quebec government originally balked at the idea of getting involved in marijuana sales when legalization became imminent, it has since held a series of hearings on the issue in an effort to create some coherent policy before legalization takes effect on July 1 of 2018.