January 18, 2018 1:26 pm
Updated: January 18, 2018 2:09 pm

Montreal wants say in which festivals would allow legal marijuana

Thu, Jan 18: Montreal is seeking the power to keep legal cannabis out of certain festivals in the city. Global's Dan Spector reports.


Montreal is seeking the power to keep legal cannabis out of certain festivals in the city. It’s one of the demands they made to the Quebec government during hearings into the province’s proposed law regulating legalization.

“We want to have the choice to prohibit the use of drugs during the kind of festivals with families,” said Montreal executive committee member Robert Beaudry. He says marijuana use should be banned from festivals geared toward children, like the Fete des Neiges.

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READ MORE: Pot legalization in Canada: Here’s what you need to know about proposed law

Under the province’s proposed law, smoking marijuana in public will be allowed with rules like the ones that regulate cigarettes and alcohol.

“During certain festivals, you can use alcohol, you can smoke cigarettes, so it’s going to be the same way with marijuana. The city is going to have the choice to permit or prohibit,” Beaudry said.

Some Montrealers Global News spoke with on Thursday agreed with the idea of keeping marijuana away from children at festivals.

“It’s a good idea to ban it from shows and everything, just for the kids,” said David Tremblay.

“At the very least, they should have a designated zone, like a smoker zone but for marijuana,” said Linda Zhang.

READ MORE: Quebec considers legal limit for THC

“Children’s festivals there’s no problem, but what about Osheaga? If you’re going to say it’s illegal to smoke pot at a big outdoor festival like Osheaga, how will you police that,” Kelley said.

The city says it would talk to the individual festivals before making any decision.

“I don’t want to make a short list right now,” said Beaudry, who didn’t want to comment on whether the city would want to ban marijuana at the Montreal Jazz Festival or Osheaga.

Among their other demands, the city wants a bigger share of the tax revenue that will come from the government selling marijuana.

“We ask the government to have a third of the tax revenue. Not a third of the 75 per cent Quebec had, but a third of the 100 per cent of the tax revenue of the federal government,” Beaudry said.

The federal government has put the responsibility of figuring out legalization on the provinces. Quebec is now studying all the opinions that came in at their hearings on the new bill.

“We have to make sure this can be introduced legally into our society in a way that protects public health and public safety,” Kelley told Global News.

Though many questions are still up in the air, both the city and the province agree they will be ready for the July 1 deadline.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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