GROWING NUMBER OF DISPENSARIES ON VANCOUVER ISLAND A SYMPTOM OF CONFUSION SURROUNDING MARIJUANA LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2017

GROWING NUMBER OF DISPENSARIES ON VANCOUVER ISLAND A SYMPTOM OF CONFUSION SURROUNDING MARIJUANA LAWS

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP, Alistair MacGregor, made the following statement:

"The Liberal party made a promise to legalize marijuana during the last election, but it didn’t follow through with any meaningful guidance, regulations, or decriminalization plans until just recently. Even this was insufficient in establishing a clear path forward that addresses the multitude of concerns our different constituents are voicing.

A rising number of complaints have been lodged with my office over the past number of months from constituents who are concerned with the growing number of marijuana dispensaries that are opening throughout the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding and Vancouver Island.

The fact is that marijuana continues to be listed as a scheduled drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and it remains illegal to possess, grow, or distribute unless authorized for medical use under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

The Liberal government has contributed to the significant amount of confusion that exists around this issue. I’ve spoken to constituents who thought marijuana became legal the day Prime Minister Trudeau was elected because of his promises, I’ve spoken to law enforcement officials who have at times been unsure as to whether to enforce against marijuana infractions, I’ve spoken to local government officials who have varied opinions on whether business licences should be issued to dispensaries, and I’ve spoken to licenced medical marijuana producers who have made significant capital investments to comply with federal rules, and are threatened by those who don’t.

The previous law and order approach to marijuana did not work, and it contributed to a significant black market controlled by criminal enterprises. I support the government’s plans to legalize and regulate marijuana, and I will be looking forward to the introduction of this legislation, hopefully in the near future." 

For more information, please contact:

Seamus Wolfe or Jennifer Hermary: 250-732-1733 or

Alistair.macgregor.c1a@parl.gc.ca

Notes:

MP Alistair MacGregor currently serves as the second Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which is expected to play a key role in the review of future marijuana legislation.

The NDP introduced the following motion in the House of Commons on June 13, 2016, which was defeated by the Liberal government:

That the House: (a) recognize the contradiction of continuing to give Canadian criminal records for simple possession of marijuana after the government has stated that it should not be a crime; (b) recognize that this situation is unacceptable to Canadians, municipalities and law enforcement agencies; (c) recognize that a growing number of voices, including that of a former Liberal prime minister, are calling for decriminalization to address this gap; and (d) call upon the government to immediately decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana for personal use.