New Brunswick’s lock and key cannabis legislation receives criticism
Proposed legislation aimed at keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth has come under fire as some are calling the need to keep the soon-to-be-legal drug under lock and key unnecessary.
When recreational cannabis is legalized, the New Brunswick government plans to have in place a law that makes it mandatory to keep pot in a locked container or locked room.
The proposed legislation has surprised many as it’s a previously unseen move in other jurisdictions awaiting legalization and those who’ve already passed it.
“I don’t know how they’re ever going to police if people have their cannabis locked up in their own homes,” said Opposition MLA Ross Wetmore. “It seems to be like policy on the fly and no real concrete evidence on why they’re going to do anything.”
Fredericton shop owner Jackie Veinott has been selling smoking related accessories for years at her downtown location.
She says that requiring law-abiding adults to lock up their marijuana is overkill.
“That is probably one of the most inane things I’ve ever heard of,” she said.
“How are they going to enforce it? You’re going to start knocking on everybody’s door going ‘excuse me do you smoke marijuana’ and if you say yes ‘can you please show me your marijuana room?’
“It’s not needed,” said Veinott.
Among the scented papers, pipes and much more, you can find lock-and-key containers on the shelves at Veinott’s store.
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Though she’s sold them for years, she says they are rarely used by her customers as a way of ensuring cannabis doesn’t get into the hands of minors.
“People who have children and partake of marijuana are usually very careful about where they keep it so their kids don’t get into it, they hide it,” she explained. “It’s a big discussion that happens in here a lot.”
New Brunswick Health Minister Benoit Bourque calls the legislation their way of remaining cautious and promoting safety when a previously illegal substance becomes widely available.
“When it comes to alcohol and tobacco, these are products that New Brunswickers know and have been legal for decades so people have an understanding of those products,” he said. “We want to make sure we are stringent in the beginning so that New Brunswickers can understand why these products need to be kept away from the reach of minors.”
Bourque said once enacted the government will monitor the law and could review it at a later date.
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