Don’t ‘jump to conclusions’ on pot timing, federal public safety minister says


OTTAWA — The federal public safety minister says people shouldn’t jump to conclusions about when they’ll be able to buy marijuana legally, as a key federal bill makes its way through Parliament.

Ralph Goodale says there will be an implementation phase that takes a “short period of time” after passage of the bill legalizing recreational marijuana use.

But he isn’t saying whether that means people will be able to legally smoke pot as of July, as many have come to expect.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said this week that provinces and territories have indicated once the federal bill receives royal assent, they’ll need another eight to 12 weeks to prepare for retail sales.

The Liberals say the current system of prohibition does not stop young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of pot.

But the legislation is just one element of the plan, and the federal and provincial governments are sorting out myriad questions about the availability and sale of pot, as well as allocating resources to implement the new regime.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press


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