One of the country’s most prominent marijuana activists is worried legislation to legalize the drug for recreational use next summer will be too restrictive to both producers and users.
Jodie Emery is also frustrated that before it’s made legal, police are continuing to crack down on those who sell and use pot for recreational purposes.
The Liberals will reportedly announce legislation the week of April 10, in hopes of legalizing recreational pot by July 1, 2018.
It’s believed the government will set a minimum age of 18 to buy pot but will allow provinces to up the legal age if they wish to do so. It will also be up to provinces to decide how pot is bought and sold, and at what price.
Ottawa is expected to remain in charge of licencing producers, and Emery has serious concerns about restricting who can produce it.
“We want to make sure it’s an inclusive industry,” she said. “Looking at the craft beer model, there’s room for smaller producers to have a role, but if the government is only looking to allow the big players to participate, then the small ‘mom and pop’ growers who’ve been running this industry all along, they’re going to continue to be criminalized and shut out.”
WATCH: Marc Emery wonders how legal marijuana will be distributed
Emery accuses the government of wasting taxpayer dollars and ruining people’s lives, by having police continue to enforce the current laws.
“In the meantime, the Liberal government and all governments are reluctant to admit that they’ve wasted hundreds of millions of dollars arresting two million Canadians and punishing peaceful people,” she said. “So what we’re seeing is a continued propaganda campaign to scare people about pot to justify harsh regulations in the future.”
Canadians who want to grow their own will be limited to four plants per household.
– With a file from The Canadian Press
Watch below: July 1, 2018 is the date the Trudeau government is aiming for to officially legalize marijuana in Canada. But there are still many questions about where it will be sold and how to keep it from kids. Tom Vernon reports.