A Canadian university professor believes a report on marijuana legalization will be made public very soon.
“I think it will be made public soon because the time frame…is fairly short,” said Bill Bogart, professor of law at the University of Windsor. “Jane Philpott, the minister of Health said last spring, at a very important United Nation Conference on drugs, that we’d have legislation on marijuana by the spring of 2017.”
Bogart said the government must also allow time for public consultation before it introduces legislation.
“The government has made [it] very clear that it wants to legalize and regulate marijuana, but how it [will do] that is very much [undecided],” said Bogart.
Bruce wonders what Bogart thinks is the best way for the government to approach legalization.
“I would like to see a very strong government presence in legalization and regulation, at least initially,” said Bogart. “There are real concerns…in terms of protecting kids and keeping them away from marijuana, quality assurance issues…and there are important harm reduction measures that need to be taken.”
How long would the government’s presence last? Bogart hopes it lasts for a couple of years.
“It’s not just the federal government; the provinces are going to have a hand in this in terms of how it’s actually sold and restrictions on how it’s sold, etc.,” said Bogart. “What I hope is that they’ll be basically acting out of the same page and will go forward with this in some orderly way.”
Bruce asked Bogart his opinion on whether or not we should follow in the footsteps of states like Colorado and Washington.
“I don’t think they’ve done a terrible job at it. There’s no evidence of rampant misuse or huge numbers of kids getting involved,” said Bogart. “There [are] some interesting lessons to be learned from the Colorado and Washington experiment because you want to tax marijuana to the point where you drive down harmful consumption, but you don’t want to reignite the illicit market, so that’s going to be a tricky business.”
Listen to the full interview below: