OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Federal Government is confirming it will not be able to meet its own July deadline for legalized recreational marijuana.
In a last minute news conference, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says the Senate will not be holding its final vote on the bill until June 7th, meaning that deadline is now up in smoke.
Health Minister confirms the Senate will not have a final vote on the legalization bill until June. That means the deadline is delayed. There will be no legal sales of marijuana in July 2018 #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/0EiU8fXAvZ
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 15, 2018
“Provinces and territories have made it very clear to us that they are going to need eight to 12 weeks for implementation,” she says. “Therefore if you do the math, you can certainly see that it certainly won’t be July 2018.”
The minister refused to give a new deadline for when pot will be legal. “There’s no exact date that I can tell you, but I think if you certainly do the math you can see that it won’t be July 2018. But again, we have to recognize that the implementation of the Cannabis legislation is not a date, it’s absolutely a process.”
The earliest we could see legalization is August but there could be further delays if the Senate amends the bill.
Some Conservative senators had been threatening to delay the legislation and an effort to speed up the process in the Senate failed.
Activist says non-violent offenders will continue to feel the wrath of ‘unjust laws’
As the Trudeau government announces delays in marijuana legalization, a local activist says she’s not all that surprised.
In fact Jodie Emery says she and other pot advocates predicted this would happen. “Legalization takes time to implement, but the first step should be to stop arresting people. Stop criminalizing the industry, stop spending money on law enforcement.”
She believes the government could –and should– put a moratorium on arrests.
“The very first step should be to stop arresting people for at least simple possession, but for all non-violent cannabis offences,” she tells NEWS 1130. While that doesn’t happen, Emery says non-violent offenders will continue to be persecuted. “They refuse to stop arresting people for simple possession and other offences that disproportionately target minorities, people of colour, the poor, and the young.”
And she has a message for the country’s leader. “Justin Trudeau is a pot-smoking prime minister, he should offer amnesty immediately to all the victims of prohibition.”