July 18, 2017 10:23 pm
Updated: July 19, 2017 2:06 pm

Toronto’s mayor proposes pot tax to cover associated costs with marijuana legalization

Toronto's mayor is looking into options for covering associated city costs with legalizing marijuana.


Toronto’s mayor believes new expenses will be created for the city as a result of legalizing marijuana, and he’s calling on the provincial government to help pay for them.

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In a letter written to Premier Kathleen Wynne on Monday, Mayor John Tory proposed creating a pot tax levy to help cover the associated costs.

“Whatever decisions are made, I have no doubt the result will be increased costs for the City of Toronto,” wrote Mayor Tory.

He said he wants to discuss what the magnitude of those costs might be with the premier and reach an agreement “on both increased public health funding and a dedicated share of increased provincial revenues attributable to the sale of marijuana.”

READ MORE: Ontario launches online survey for public feedback on marijuana legalization

Among the associated costs with legalizing the drug could be more responsibility placed on Toronto police officers for law enforcement.

While the mayor said he supports the drug’s legalization, he has a number of concerns to discuss with the provincial government among their consultations.

The mayor also hopes to discuss regulations of where marijuana can be consumed in public places, the proximity of retail sales to schools and community centres, law enforcement of impaired driving, the safety of growing marijuana, and public education.

READ MORE: Toronto police charge 20 people after Canna Clinic marijuana dispensaries reopen following raids

“These are the kinds of things I think we have to deal with,” Tory told AM640’s the John Oakley Show on Tuesday.

The provincial government previously said it was considering sales of marijuana similar to the sale of alcohol through the LCBO. It’s a matter Tory also hopes to touch upon with the premier.

“I sure don’t see the legalization of marijuana as properly leading to a whole bunch of dispensaries like we have now where there’s one on every street corner,” Tory told AM640.

The federal government is aiming to have marijuana legalized by next Canada Day.

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