Slow down on marijuana legalization

To the Editor,

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions and so few answers?
Just this week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said that the legislation is coming too fast, stating that, “There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety.” The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned that it will be “impossible” to be ready for the government’s target of legalizing marijuana by July 2018. Do these things not matter?
Why is the Trudeau government not listening to their own Department of Health, which warned that youth under the age of 25, whose brains are still developing, should not be smoking marijuana? Why are they ignoring all the evidence that says more (not fewer) youth will smoke marijuana after legalization, and that car crashes due to impairment by marijuana will increase significantly? Why do they insist that organized crime will decrease after legalization and yet the experts say we are “deluding ourselves” if we think that legalizing marijuana will remove the criminal component?
Canada is the first developed country in the world to legalize marijuana. The proposed legislative and regulatory framework is still in its infancy – not even half-baked – and yet Trudeau stubbornly insists on recklessly plunging ahead. Why? Are there conflicts of interest driving this agenda? How would we know if there were?
There is something extremely repugnant, foolish and suspicious about the government’s mindless haste. It’s time to slow down, take a deep breath and a step back. Canadians deserve answers to their many questions before we go any further.

Betty Unger, Senator (Alberta)

Share this post