The government of Canada continues to undertake one of the most significant public policy changes in the nation’s history. Legalizing marijuana by next year.
And the issue is causing some heated debate throughout the nation – especially in Sasktchewan.
Regina MP and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was one MP to testify at a Commons committee Tuesday night on the government’s proposed cannabis bill.
Goodale admits legalizing pot for recreational use is a major step, but says misuse of the drug already exists.
“The problem already exists with the use of cannabis,” Goodale told 620 CKRM News. “All the statistics indicate that Canadian young people are the heaviest users of cannabis in the western world. And simply maintaining the status quo won’t change that.”
Goodale says the problem with impairment is higher in Saskatchewan than it is in most other jurisdictions in the country.
“Indeed the problem with misuse and impairment is higher in Saskatchewan than it is in most other jurisdictions in the country,” Goodale said. “So the problem is even more urgent in Saskatchewan to change the legal regime.”
He says some provinces are ready to go ahead on the legislation, like Ontario as well as New Brunswick.
“Some provinces are ready to move,”Goodale said. “As we’ve seen in Ontario, New Bruinswick. British Columbia has indicated that they are probably close to making a decision. Other provinces are still working on it, including Saskatchewan.”
Goodale says the government remains committed to legalizing marijuana by July of 2018.
He says the federal government has been doing ongoing consultations with all the provinces regarding necessary steps which need to be taken to implement this bill.