Tuesday, 11 April 2017 11:13

Lack of collaboration on pot issue between governments would cause political social chaos

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Pushing through of an idyllic agenda by large egos, not enough time, lack of foresight or maybe just not caring enough to see the whole picture — these factors seem to have crept  their way into provincial and federal politics.

There have been discussions regarding the new federal legislation of the legalizing of the recreational use of marijuana.
There is a lot of debate revolving around the pros and cons regarding marijuana use including medicinal properties and subsequent related scientific studies on the long-term affects on the body; pros and cons ethically and morally, not to mention the gateway addiction argument, etc. 
Perhaps it will be explained if and when the pot legislation comes to fruition, but what doesn’t seem overly prevelant now is how much federal research and study has been done to ensure a transition of “just say no to (all) drugs” to “just say no to all drugs except this one.”
Like most government decisions, the prevailing push isn’t arguably about the public directive, it’s about money. 
There was no federal referendum on the subject, although a few sanctioned media polls indicate a majority of Canadians want marijuana legalized.
According to a Canadian Press story from November 2016, the tax revenues on legal marijuana will be anywhere from $356 million to $959 million in 2018 — this according to a parliamentary budget officer who released a 77-page study called Legalized Cannabis: Fiscal Consideration.
Ontario premier Kathleen Wynn is even on record as saying some marijuana products should be available in the province’s liquor stores.
One way or another, these decisions will affect a lot of things such as those who are in current related legal trouble.
How will new legislation affect court dockets with lawyers pushing for delays until the new laws come into effect, subsequent court challenges for those who just miss cutoff deadlines or even those who are awaiting sentencing or in jail now?
Will marijuana quantities vary across the country?
How much say do provincial governments have on this and what roles will their governments and policing jurisdictions play in all of this?
Is there enough policing to handle the amount of marijuana which will openly hit the streets and what will it do to those operating motor vehicles?
What does this mean for U.S./Canada border crossings and their enforcement officers?
What are the parameters for legal grow operations?
What affect will it have on the health industry? Will there be a need for more detox centres?
Where will the taxation money go to: general coffers or specific departments, i.e. “this new Trans Canada highway pavement has been paid with pot proceeds.’
There are a lot of details to be worked out amongst many different jurisdictions which means greater communication is needed.
Aye, there’s the rub.
The problem right now is many leaders don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues.
Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, while currently embattled at home with some of his taxpayers, has repeatedly not seen eye to eye with Justin Trudeau and has openly exchanged nasty political barbs with his western neighbour Rachel Notley. 
In late March, Wall publically criticized the marijuana proposal as “patchwork” while Notley has indicated consultation with Albertans about minimum age of legal usage would occur.
It sounds like slightly different philosophies.
If legalization of marijuana is on the hazy horizon and the political fuse is being lit for legalization, it is critical Trudeau has many details and scenarios covered.
All provincial jurisdictions must be fully aware of what’s going on and then that information needs to be passed along to the public.
Business owners and entrepreneurs will try to push the limits on recreational marijuana use sales with different marketing ideas and strict rules need to be planted and enforced.
In other words, these government leaders need to be open and need to fully communicate with each other about exactly how all of this is going to work if they haven’t already.
Then the federal and provincial governments need to be clear with the public about how everything will unfold and be enforced.
While there is a very valid argument to be made that those in government were democratically elected by the people and therefore should have the right to make decisions on policies, it’s also up to Trudeau to ensure these policies are ones everyone understands, are prepared for and can feel relaxed about.
If not, political fallout will only cause chaos and be anything but peaceful.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor