With files from Jon McComb
Today’s announcement the federal government is launching a task force to study the legalization and regulation marijuana use has pot activists fuming
Ottawa is committed to introducing legislation on the legalization of pot in the spring of 2017.
The task force will by chaired by former Liberal Public Safety Minister Ann McLellan, and comprised of experts in public health, substance abuse, law enforcement and justice.
The group will meet with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and also have an online public consultation until the end of August.
LISTEN to the full interview with Jodie Emery:
Public health approach to legalization
Health Minister Jane Philpott today said that pot is not without health and safety risks, especially among youth, and Canada is taking a public health approach to marijuana.
“Marijuana use has negative effects on young brains, and brain development during adolescence lays the foundation for success in life, or alternatively for the struggles that lie ahead.”
Marijuana activist and owner of Cannabis Culture,Jodie Emery says prohibition is staying in force and effect, and a continuation of the Harper policy.
“We will see Canadian citizens arrested and treated like second class citizens… we will see our tax dollars wasted in the millions by continuing to enforce these laws.”
“Safer than sugar”
She says the Liberal government is not legalizing cannabis, but introducing a new form of prohibition .
When asked by Jon McComb about regulating and taxing marijuana, Emery said they don’t mind regulations that are fair, but all of the City of Vancouver’s new regulations on edibles, and the federal government’s talk about children’s brains is all prohibitionist talk.
“But when you consider taxes on things like alcohol and cigarettes, that’s because you have demonstrable harm caused by those products.”
She says cannabis doesn’t have any healthcare costs, it’s all in law enforcement costs.
“We’re still dealing with a mentality that treats marijuana like it’s dangerous and harmful, even though it’s safer than sugar.”