Article by Ian Froese, The Brandon Sun
If a consensus could be drawn from a wide-ranging town hall in Brandon about the proposed legalization of marijuana, it’s an acknowledgment the legislation is flawed.
To single out certain shortcomings, however, depends on whom you ask.
A crowd of 125 constituents filled the West End Community Centre Sunday night for the town hall, organized by the office of Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire and moderated by parliamentary assistant Drew Ostash.
For two hours, the discussion looked to the future. Attendees, resigned to the eventual legalization of marijuana, questioned many aspects of its rollout, such as the number of grams a person can keep, the legal age for using and police enforcement.
Some heated dialogue centred on when a person can legally possess or consume marijuana, which the federal government’s task force believes should be 18 years old.
Brian Pettigrew agrees that marijuana should be permitted at the age of majority, when Canadians are legally able to vote, drink alcohol in Manitoba and join the military.
It should be up to individual people to decide if consuming is worthwhile when long-term effects to drug use include impairing memory loss and concentration, he said.
“As Canadians, we have that right to decide for ourselves, and if we fall on our face as an individual, because we did not make the right decision in our life, that’s our own fault.”
One young woman garnered applause when she said if she’s permitted to die from alcohol poisoning at 18, she should be allowed to smoke a joint.