Article by , CBC News
After a Senate committee proposed postponing cannabis legalization so that Indigenous leaders could have a seat at the table, a federal agency on the file has responded — the problem is with the current system, and putting off legalization won’t fix that, it says.
“The current system is not working — Canada has some of the highest rates of youth use of cannabis, the illegal market is thriving and Canadians continue to be subject to criminal prosecution for possession of small amounts of cannabis,” said Health Canada in a statement to CBC News.
“Delaying the legalization and regulation of cannabis would not change this.”
CBC had asked the federal justice department for their response to Northern community leaders who were concerned about a lack of consultation from Indigenous groups.
On May 1, the standing Senate committee on Aboriginal peoples called on the government to delay legalization.
The committee said that bureaucrats needed to better consult Indigenous leaders about preventing substance abuse in their communities and about making it easier for Indigenous communities to profit in the burgeoning market.
“Representatives of Indigenous communities from across the country told us they are not ready,” said the deputy chair of the committee, Senator Scott Tannas in a press release.