Provincial government launches public engagement campaign on cannabis legalization

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The provincial government launched a public engagement campaign, inviting residents to share their views about how B.C. moves forward on cannabis legalization next year.

B.C. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth launched the online public campaign this morning at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about how we can best protect our kids, keep our roads safe, and lock criminals out of the non-medical cannabis industry,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “It’s critical that we work together to ensure the legalization of non-medical cannabis results in safer, healthier communities.”

Until November 1st, residents can share their views about the government’s approach to non-medical cannabis legalization at: engage.gov.bc.ca/BCcannabisregulation/. Under the federal government’s new laws, provinces and territories will have the power to regulate distribution and retail sales of non-medical cannabis, similar to current rules governing the sale and distribution of alcohol.

Today’s announcement also said that the provincial government can also look at upgrading traffic-safety laws to protect people on the roads from cannabis impaired drivers. Speaking with Energeticcity.ca ahead of the UBCM conference, Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman stressed the need for more accurate testing to determine whether or not a person is impaired by consuming marijuana.

“The reality is, they need to have some type of testing that will hold up in a court of law to show that the person may have used marijuana two weeks ago, it’s still in their system, but they’re not immediately impaired by it,” said Ackerman.

At today’s conference, the provincial government invited the UBCM to establish a standing committee on cannabis legalization so that local governments can share their experience, knowledge and concerns as B.C.’s regulatory framework develops.