Surrey to hold public meeting on pot legalization for parents on Thursday

Surrey is holding a public forum for parents with marijuana legalization expected by some point this summer. File/ The Canadian Press

Surrey parents concerned about what will happen once marijuana is legalized have secured a meeting with city officials.

City officials will be taking questions about cannabis as well as talking about new rules and how the information can best be delivered to parents.

The meeting is set for Clayton Heights Secondary School on Thursday night, but pre-registration is required.

Surrey Coun. Mike Starchuk says the biggest question from parents relates to where dispensaries will be allowed to set up shop.

“We’ll be telling them that we are working on buffer zones to where schools are, to where playgrounds are, [where] other minors are going to be, which is very similar where liquor establishments are located within school zones and other things like that,” he said.
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Starchuck said he is confident the city will be able to establish a well-regulated system similar to what other municipalities have put in place.

But with legalization expected by some point this summer, Starchuck is also raising concerns about resources for police under the new regime.

Starchuk said he and other members of council have toured three U.S. cities where recreational marijuana is legal: Denver, Portland and Seattle. He said all three have been dealing with increased rates of motor-vehicle accidents.

“I know in Denver, they’re making a concerted effort to get in the public realm, making sure that everybody understands that getting behind the wheel after consumption of cannabis is the same as getting behind the wheel with alcohol,” he said.

Colorado spent a considerable amount of time training their police officers to look for signs of marijuana use on the road and Starchuk said the same should happen here.

In Toronto, police have deployed a pilot roadside drug-testing device under a voluntary program.

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