The North Okanagan’s rep in Ottawa says the Liberals are being stubborn over their time frame for legalizing marijuana.
M-P Mel Arnold of the Conservatives says despite concerns about it being rushed by police chiefs and others, the Liberals are still targeting next July.
“That’s an indication of stubbornness, or failing to listen to the experts on this issue. The police, health officials and educators are all telling them this, and yet, they seem to think they know better,” Arnold tells Kiss FM.
Arnold says he agrees with the police chiefs who want the start date delayed 6 to 12 months.
He says police are asking for more time to be properly trained to enforce the new rules.
“Who is going to cover the costs of that? It’s another case of this government downloading this onto taxpayers at a local level. Some of the police departments are city police or provincial they are going to be expected to enforce this,” says Arnold.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she has concerns about leaving criminal laws in place that have negative impacts on young people, and allow a black market run by organized crime to flourish.
Members of the Metis National Council and Chiefs of Ontario have questions about how pot would be sold and enforced on reserves, and what prevention programs will be in place.
Arnold says his party has never felt the July 2018 timeline was practical.
“And we’re hearing that echoed now by the police, and from health agencies who say there needs to be an extensive education program. All of this needs to be in place before they turn it into a legalized product,” adds the MP.