Western Provinces Expect Ottawa to Pay Costs Associated with Marijuana Legalization Plan

Article by Kristy Kirkup, Canadian Press via Globe and Mail

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is urging the federal government to exclude personal cultivation from its plans to legalize marijuana.

At least three provinces are making it clear they expect Ottawa to foot the bill for costs associated with its plan to legalize marijuana — an issue that will have significant impacts in their jurisdictions.

In Edmonton on Wednesday, Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said there likely be additional financial pressures related to regulation, testing and sharing public information about a legalized regime.

“We certainly are expecting some help with that — in what form that comes is difficult to say without having seen the regulations,” she said.

The government is expected to introduce legislation as soon as next week, ahead of annual “Weed Day” celebrations on April 20, to regulate the use of marijuana.

Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said Wednesday the province told a federally appointed task force that legalizing marijuana would create new demands on police.

Ottawa will need to provide provinces and territories with sufficient financial resources to support law enforcement, particularly in the area of training and equipment to deal with impaired drivers, she added.

“They will also need to provide sufficient resources for inspectors to ensure compliance with marijuana production and storage regulations, rather than trying to rely on police resources for inspections,” Stefanson said in a statement.

Read full article here.

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