John Ivison: Marijuana Report to Urge Liberals to Strike at the Black Market

Article by John Ivison, National Post

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The key recommendation of the panel charged with outlining the framework for Canada’s legal marijuana regime is that the system should be geared toward getting rid of the $7-billion-a year black market.

Sources familiar with the report, which is expected to be made public Dec. 21, say all the other recommendations flow from that guiding principle.

Provinces will set the legal age for marijuana consumption, but the report is likely to recommend the limit be the age of majority — 18 in six provinces; 19 in B.C., Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the three territories — which would keep many young people from turning to criminal sources. (The Canadian Medical Association has recommended an age limit of 21, with limits on the quantity and potency.)

To eat into the black market, the report is expected to recommend prices should be lower than the street price of $8-$10 a gram. This would reduce the amount of tax revenues available to federal and provincial governments but would be justified by the principle of guaranteeing a safe and controlled supply.

To ensure consumers receive a Health Canada-approved product, the report is expected to recommend the existing mail-order distribution network be maintained.

Read full article here.

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