(pixabay)

WATCH: Province, Feds see lots of work ahead of marijuana legalization

More than 48,000 B.C. residents provided feedback to the Province on how to roll out the legalization and regulation of cannabis in 2018.

For five weeks the residents of British Columbia were able to provide their views on how the legalization and regulation of marijuana will be rolled out in the province and more than 48,000 residents took part in the consultation.

According to a release from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the BC Cannabis Regulation Engagement website saw 127,952 visits from 48,151 community members. These people provided feedback on topics such as minimum age, personal possession limits, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation, and distribution and retail models.

Another 800 opinions were received from a cross-section of British Columbians through a random telephone survey, in addition to another 130 written submissions from from organizations including local governments, school districts, cannabis industry, advocacy groups and law enforcement.

All of this will help the Province choose its regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis, while prioritizing the protection of young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe.

Poll shows 70 per cent want legalization

According to a Insights West poll conducted last month, seven-in-ten B.C. residents support the legalization of marijuana, while only 25 per cent are opposed. This support was found to be highest among men (73 per cent) aged 18-34 (77 per cent), who are residents of Vancouver Island (also 77 per cent) and who voted for the Liberal Party in the 2015 federal election (83 per cent).

The poll also illustrated similar numbers endorsing legalization among those residents of European descent (71 per cent) and those of South Asian descent (79 per cent), but dropped markedly (to 41 per cent) among residents of East Asian descent.

As for other popular “hard” drugs like heroin, ecstasy, power cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth and fentanyl, approximately 80 per cent of those surveyed were against the legalization.

Marijuana activists work far from over

Cannabis activists say that while they’ve succeeded in helping to push for marijuana legalization across the country, their work is far from over.

The federal government has committed to making recreational cannabis legal by July 1, 2018, but has tasked provincial governments with establishing their own business and regulatory models that will make the new legislation a reality.

Activists say they need only look at the early versions of provincial plans to find targets for future campaigns.

They say provinces such as Ontario, which plans to levy fines of up to $1 million on businesses that illegally sell recreational weed, are wrong to try and monopolize marijuana sales and should allow storefront dispensaries to operate.

Others say they plan to crusade for medical marijuana users, who they feel are being left behind as legalization moves ahead.

Still more say their efforts will involve pushing for relaxed consumption rules, such as marijuana licenses for restaurants and other public spaces.

While nearly all see the proposed legislative frameworks as flawed, they do believe legalization will allow a previously marginalized group a more prominent place in the conversation around cannabis use.

– With files from The Canadian Press



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Gabrielle Clarke is an art therapist in Golden who works in mixed media art. Clarke’s art will be on display downtown at the Go-Lab. (Gabrielle Clarke photo)
Mixed media arts show comes to Go-Lab

Clarke’s art will be on display until Nov. 6

The view from Donald Bridge, looking east on Highway 1, about 28 km north of Golden at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 18. (DriveBC)
UPDATE: Expect delays on highway east of Revelstoke

A vehicle incident occurred near the Quartz Creek bridge

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read