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Early days of legalized pot will be a logistical nightmare, predict political observers, critics

Last Updated Oct 15, 2018 at 8:04 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Legal recreational marijuana is just two days away, and political observers and critics predict a lot of problems in the early stages of legalization.

The federal government says its ready, but not everyone is convinced.

NDP health critic Don Davies doesn’t feel the country is ready for legal pot. “Police forces across the country are still scrambling. I think a lot of employers across the country are very confused. We still don’t have an effective way to test present impairment with cannabis.”

“It’s going to be quite a mess,” said Maclean’s senior writer Paul Wells.

He believes there will a lot of logistical headaches at the beginning of legalization.

He echoes Davies’ concerns about a lack of training and testing kits for drug impaired driving. Wells also notes concerns about a patchwork of provincial systems and confusion about what will happen to pot users at the border.

Wells adds the biggest consumer problem could be with distribution. “It’s hard for me to believe there will be enough legal supply to meet the pre-existing demand.”

He thinks politically, this may hurt the Trudeau Liberals, but that could change as the kinks get ironed out.

“After a very clumsy introduction, I don’t think this will be a huge problem for the Liberals,” said Wells.

“In the end, it’s Canada. To the extent there are delivery problems and supply chain problems, they’ll get fixed. People who think that this will be the end of civilization will realize that it isn’t.”

The federal government insists there will be enough pot to go around and police have the tools they need to handle new challenges, saying legalization is not an event but a process.