B.C. marijuana activist Dana Larsen is skeptical about reports marijuana could be legal in Canada by next summer.
There is word legislation will be announced next month that would legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018. The federal government would be in charge of making sure the supply is safe and setting 18 as the minimum age to buy marijuana.
But Larsen says he does not think this legalization will happen “anytime soon.”
“I think it’s still a few years away until they stop arrests and we can buy government-approved cannabis in stores,” he said.
“2019 is probably the earliest we’ll see change happen.”
The provinces would still decide how marijuana is distributed and sold and will also have the legal right to set the price.
“I think we’re going to see a slow process though because the federal legislation that comes into play won’t be the end of the process, it’ll be the beginning of the process,” said Larsen. “Then each province will have to have their own individual process to determine what they’re going to do and then many municipalities want some time to put in their own bylaws. So I think that nobody’s going to be in a hurry on this so I anticipate this stretching out for quite a few years to come.”
WATCH: The Trudeau government is set to introduce legislation in April to legalize marijuana. Paving the way for legalization as early as July 1, 2018. To learn more Global News was joined by marijuana activist Jodie Emery.
“I’m holding my breath on the government’s promise right now,” said Emery who is currently facing life in prison following her arrest earlier this month after police conducted coordinated raids on several of their marijuana dispensaries in British Columbia and Ontario. Her husband Marc was also arrested.
“For us and the many other Canadians still being punished it hurts to see us ignored and sidelined,” she added. “We’re the pioneers of this movement. We sacrificed, we struggled, we protested, we marched, we campaigned, we’ve done everything we can to make legalization a possibility in this country and now the liberal government, and some of the licensed producers, are turning on us and looking to exclude us from the market and take it away and profit themselves.”