Article by Elizabeth Fraser, CBC News
A minimum age for legal marijuana use in New Brunswick is still up in the air, although most speakers on the issue during recent provincewide hearings favoured 19.
In July, the select committee on cannabis travelled to seven cities to gather public’s opinions and concerns before recreational marijuana is legalized next year.
The committee, which finished the tour in Fredericton on Friday, was surprised by some of the comments, said Benoît Bourque, the chair.
“I would say the age of 19 did come out on top in terms of the number of people supporting the minimum legal age of 19,” Bourque said.
This was in contrast to the medical professionals who, throughout the tour, clearly preferred a legal age of 25, even though they understood it would be difficult to enforce. Some groups recommended a minimum age of 21.
To his surprise, Bourque said, comments were generally positive in terms of the legalization of marijuana.
“People were pretty much on board with the fact it’s coming, let’s deal with it,” he said. “That was the overwhelming feeling we got from all the presentations.”
He said the idea behind legalization is to get the drug out of the hands of children and the profits out of the hands of criminal organizations.
“This would help us in terms of ensuring proper quality of product and ensure proper control,” he said. “Also to ensure, proceeds can go into educational programs.”