Clear regulations needed for medical, recreational marijuana: Wynne

TORONTO -- Ontario is looking for federal government guidance on regulating clinics that sell medical marijuana and on how pot should be sold for recreational use once it's legalized.

See Full Article

The federal Liberals promised in this month's throne speech to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana" to keep it out of the hands of children while also denying criminals the financial profits.

The new government plans to remove possession of small amounts of marijuana from the Criminal Code and create new laws to more severely punish those who provide it to minors or drive while under its influence.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says there hasn't been enough discussion about the distinctions between medicinal and recreational marijuana, which is one reason she suggested Ontario's government-run liquor stores would be well-suited to retailing legalized pot.

"The reason I put forward the LCBO as the possible distribution network is that I want to make it clear that I see the need for a socially responsible approach to this," Wynne told The Canadian Press in a year-end interview.

"I think that this needs to be a controlled substance -- and I don't use that in a technical way -- but there need to be controls on it, and so I will be looking to the federal government to work with us to determine what those controls need to be."

There are dozens of clinics or dispensaries springing up in cities across Canada that sell medicinal marijuana -- mainly in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia -- and there are referral-only clinics staffed with doctors who assess patients but don't sell pot. They give patients a prescription to take to a licensed marijuana producer.

Canada needs national standards and regulations for the marijuana clinics, said Wynne.

"Not all marijuana is going to be medicinal, so we've got to make distinctions between a clinic that is providing medicinal marijuana and what the recreational distribution is going to be," she said. "I just don't think we're there yet."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to create a task force with representatives from the three levels of government and, with input from experts in public health, substance abuse and policing, to help design a new system of marijuana sales and distribution.

Trudeau stressed the importance of listening to municipal partners, provinces and the medical marijuana industry, as well as drawing on best practices from around the world.

"We are going to get this right in a way that suits Canadians broadly, and specifically in their communities."

Trudeau also said any tax revenues from legal marijuana should go towards addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs -- not general revenues.

"It was never about a money-maker," he said.

Wynne isn't the only one looking for a socially responsible way to retail marijuana.

The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union and the B.C. Private Liquor Store Association joined forces to call for legal marijuana to be sold through their existing retail system, which includes about 200 private and 200 government-run stores.

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said the union did not take a position on whether it supports the plan to legalize marijuana, "but we do believe that when this happens, it ought to be sold in the most socially responsible way possible, in an age-controlled environment with the strongest track record of checking identification."

Expectations are changing fast in Ontario, which only last week updated its liquor laws to allow the sale of six-packs of beer in selected grocery stores. Minutes after Wynne made the announcement, she was asked why grocers couldn't also sell pot.

"I don't know what the federal government is going to bring forward, but we will work with them to make sure there are parameters of social responsibility around marijuana."

Ontario had to back off plans to ban the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping everywhere that smoking tobacco is prohibited, which it planned to implement Jan. 1, after medical marijuana users noted they would be exempted from the regulation.

"We know that we're going need to bring in regulation and possibly legislation to make sure that all the rules that apply to smoking cigarettes, tobacco, will apply to smoking marijuana, whether it's medicinal or otherwise," said Wynne.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Security fears grow after latest Burkina Faso coup

    World News CTV News
    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - As Islamic extremists intensified their attacks in Burkina Faso earlier this year, coup leader Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba urged the West African nation's people to give him until September to improve things as interim president. Source
  • Fewer firefighters mean slower response times, jeopardizing lives

    Canada News CTV News
    In the end, all Brandon Armstrong could salvage was his mother’s wedding dress … and her Bible. Choking back tears, the Sebright, Ont. man describes the fire that gutted his four-bedroom home and ended the lives of two people inside, including his disabled mother. Source
  • Russia seized head of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine says

    World News CBC News
    Ukraine's nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of "kidnapping" the head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops and located in a region of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to annex illegally. Source
  • Florida searches for survivors, South Carolina waits for daylight view of Hurricane Ian's damage

    World News CBC News
    Rescuers searched for survivors among the ruins of Florida's flooded homes from Hurricane Ian while authorities in South Carolina waited for daylight to assess damage from the storm's second strike as the remnants of one of the strongest and costliest disasters to ever hit the U.S. Source
  • Nord Stream pipeline leak in Baltic Sea could cement Europe's shift to renewables — eventually

    World News CBC News
    Before the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea sprung massive leaks this week, spewing out tons of methane into the water and atmosphere, Europe had started planning for a long-term future without Russian gas — prompted by Putin's war in Ukraine. Source
  • U.S. judge dismisses Mexico lawsuit against gun manufacturers

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - A U.S. federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Mexican government against U.S. gun manufacturers arguing their commercial practices has led to bloodshed in Mexico. Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Boston ruled Mexico's claims did not overcome the broad protection provided to gun manufacturers by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005. Source
  • 'Leave immediately' or risk conscription, Canada warns dual citizens in Russia

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadians in Russia who hold dual citizenship should leave the country immediately or risk being conscripted for mandatory military service, the Government of Canada warned in an updated travel advisory on Sept. 29. The updated advisory comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin executes a partial military mobilization that could see as many as 300,000 citizens and reservists sent to fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine. Source
  • Trump fraud lawsuit goes to judge who held him in contempt

    World News CTV News
    The New York attorney general's lawsuit accusing Donald Trump and his company of fraud has been assigned to a state court judge who repeatedly ruled against the former president in related subpoena disputes -- including holding him in contempt, fining him US$110,000 and forcing him to sit for a deposition. Source
  • Officials: North Korea fires suspected ballistic missiles

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - North Korea has fired suspected ballistic missiles, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Saturday. Further details are still being analyzed, ministry officials said. Japan's NHK national television said multiple missiles fired from the North are believed to have landed in the Sea of Japan and outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone. Source
  • North Korea fires fourth round of missile tests in 1 week

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - North Korea on Saturday fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters, South Korean and Japanese officials said, making it the fourth round of weapons launches this week that are seen as a response to military drills among its rivals. Source