Until the federal government legalizes marijuana, dispensaries operating in Victoria and Vancouver are illegal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday during a visit to the capital region.
“We are hoping to bring in legislation before the summer, we’re working very hard on the excellent report put forward by the task force on marijuana. But I cannot stress enough that until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current law applies,” he said.
He made the comments at a press conference while visiting CFB Esquimalt, after he and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joined military personnel for a five-kilometre run and a tour of the base.
Trudeau said regulating the sale of marijuana will keep it out of the hands of young people and stop criminal gangs from capitalizing on a multi-billion-dollar industry.
“Right now, we know that young people have easier access to marijuana than just about any other illicit substance. It’s easier to buy a joint for a teenager than it is to buy a bottle of beer. That’s not right,” he said.
“Secondly, we know criminal organizations and street gangs are making billions of dollars off of the sale of marijuana. We feel that regulating it, controlling it will bring that revenue out of the pockets of criminals and put it into a system where we can both monitor, tax it and ensure that we are supporting people who are facing challenges related or unrelated to drug use.”