Some of what was said Thursday about federal government’s new pot legislation

Some quotes about the new marijuana laws

OTTAWA — Some quotes about the Liberal government’s cannabis legislation, introduced in the House of Commons on Thursday.

“The Cannabis Act reflects an evidence-based approach that will protect Canadians’ public health and safety.” — Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

“The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.” — Health Minister Jane Philpott.

“It will allow law enforcement to focus on other, serious offences, including the distribution of cannabis to children and driving under the influence of drugs.” — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

“The proposed bill will also provide more tools and stronger laws to punish more severely drivers who drive under the influence of drugs, including cannabis.” — Goodale.

“As the bill moves through the legislative process, existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place and they need to be respected. This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all.” — Goodale.

“It is not our intent to promote the use of this drug. We want to permit through legalization and strict regulation more healthful, safer and socially responsible use.” — Bill Blair, Liberal MP and former police officer who has been a point man for the government’s cannabis plan.

“Instead of using evidence-based decision-making, the Justin Trudeau government has rushed to implement a half-baked election promise. Scientific evidence confirms that marijuana use can cause real, adverse impacts on the developing brain. Despite proclaiming ‘science is back,’ the Trudeau government is ignoring science and is setting a legal age for recreational marijuana use that runs a risk to public health.” — Erin O’Toole, Conservative leadership candidate.

“I think this government has used a propensity to use this issue more as a cosmetic issue of style rather than take a serious, collaborative approach with the provinces and other stockholders on this.” — NDP public safety critic Don Davies.

“There are myriad issues around the legalization of marijuana, but for physicians, the key is how we can best mitigate the very real health risks, particularly in relation to youth. The federal government has indicated that they consider this a priority and the CMA will insist on effective public health education and measures to minimize the negative impact on youth and all Canadians.” â€” Dr. Granger Avery, president, Canadian Medical Association.

“The provinces will have to set the minimum age for consumption and possession; the provinces will have to determine where and how marijuana can be marketed; the provinces will have to pay the health costs associated with legalizing marijuana; the provinces will have to implement prevention programs in schools; the provinces will have to implement controls through police forces; but the Trudeau government did not set aside any funds for the provinces to pay for these requirements resulting from this new act. It is very troubling.” — Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan, Senate Opposition leader.

“I have to admit I have no analysis of this very interesting subject … It’s a new business, in effect, so it could maybe create jobs … We’ll take a look at it.” — Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.

“It’s not a simple issue. It may be simple to say, ‘Yeah, let’s legalize marijuana.’ Administering it is actually very complex and there is a lot of work to do on it. I would say that it is going to be challenging and that we have a lot of work to do.” — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

“We’ll need new measures on road safety and that will cost money. Helping municipalities to apply the laws. Helping employers and unions modify the workplace. That’s going to take money. We’re a bit disappointed … and we’ll definitely ask them to revise their position with regard to financing because we will need money. They are transferring a lot of responsibility to us.” — Quebec junior health minister Lucie Charlebois.

“Our relationship with Canada is one of deep friendship and mutual trust and it is up to the people of each nation to decide which drug policies are most appropriate for their country, within the framework of their domestic law and international law.” — U.S. embassy spokesman.

“We are pleased to see that the new legislation proposed today has a strong emphasis on harm reduction, consistent with recommendations put forward by CNA during the task force’s consultation on the legalization, regulation and restriction of access to marijuana.” â€” Barb Shellian, president of the Canadian Nurses Association.

 

 

The Canadian Press

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