November 9, 2017 6:17 pm
Updated: November 10, 2017 8:26 am

Sask. children’s advocate calls for changes to marijuana legislation

Saskatchewan's Advocate for Children and Youth is asking the government to consider amendments to the legislation.

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Saskatchewan’s advocate for children and youth doesn’t think enough is being done by the federal government to protect younger generations when marijuana is legalized.

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“I believe there are some things in (Bill C-45) that do not address some of our concerns when it comes to children and youth,”  Corey O’Soup, Saskatchewan’s children and youth advocate, said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan child advocate calls for pot law changes to protect kids

O’Soup says he hopes the federal government will consider amendments to Bill C-45 ahead of their expected legalization target date of July 1, 2018.

One area of concern for O’Soup is around potency limits for those under the age of 25.

“There’s lots of research out there, lots of studies done by our medical professionals that say there are really negative effects on children and youth, particularly around the ages of 18, but even under the age of 25,” O’Soup said.

“People say, ‘well they’ve been doing it for so long’ and I’m not naive to think that they’re not, but if we’re going to decriminalize it, then we need to do it in a much better way than we have.”

READ MORE: Groups urge Ottawa to consider workplace safety in marijuana legalization rules

Other concerns outlined by O’Soup are around where marijuana can be sold, including hours of operation and promotional material, as well as penalties for quantity limits.

“When an adult is charged, they’re going to be able to hold 30 grams; but when a youth is charged, it’s five grams,” O’Soup said.

“So it’s criminalizing our youth by having different standards, so immediately we’re putting our children behind the eight-ball.”

O’Soup has submitted six recommendations to the provincial government for it’s consideration ahead of legalization.

“We understand that decriminalization is coming but now it’s up to each province in how they’re going to react and what they’re going to do,” O’Soup said.

“That’s the process we want to have an impact on; making sure that our provincial government and ministry of justice, as they’re going through the process, that they take a look at the impact it is going to have on kids.”

According to O’Soup, the government has received their recommendations, along with a letter to Justice Minister Don Morgan.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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