Prime minister Justin Trudeau said that although there’s potential for “a bit of revenue” from legalizing marijuana, it will not be a massive source of government revenue, according to CBC News.
Trudeau said the Liberals’ plan to legalize pot has always been about public health and safety, and not about making money. In a recent roundtable interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau said any government revenues generated from marijuana will go toward addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs.
Although Trudeau has clearly stated he wants to legalize the sale of marihuana across the country, he has not yet provided a timeline for the move.
“We’re going to get this right in a way that suits Canadians broadly, specifically in their communities, and this is why we’re taking the time to weigh in properly and ensure that we’re achieving our goals of protecting young people and removing the criminal profits from marijuana,” said Trudeau during a press conference in Vancouver last week.
Trudeau said the federal government will work with the provinces, territories and municipalities to map out a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana.
“The challenge of getting this important initiative right is one of ensuring that we are broadly listening to partners, folks in the medical marijuana industry, municipal partners, provinces, and of course, drawing on best practices from around the world,” Trudeau said last week.
In an interview with CBC News, federal health minister Jane Philpott said that although the government will be looking abroad for best practices, she doesn’t see a perfect model anywhere. Philpott said that when it comes to legalizing and regulating marijuana, “the world is going to be looking to Canada to make sure we do the job well.”
According to the Liberals, Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work – it does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.
The Liberals plan to remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the criminal code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.
On Dec. 2, 2015, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and the B.C. Private Liquor Store Association announced that non-medical marijuana should be sold in both public B.C. liquor stores and private liquor retail stores. According to Global News, the two groups said this will enable a safe, responsible and effective system for recreational marijuana in B.C., and their goal is to allow British Columbians to buy non-medical marijuana in liquor stores by the end of 2016.