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Cannabis

Montreal mayor, opposition parties voice concerns during cannabis bill hearings

WATCH: Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is set to speak out against the province’s new bill to raise the legal age to consume marijuana products to 21 and to ban using cannabis in public. Global's Raquel Fletcher has more.

A National Assembly hearing on cannabis continues in Quebec City and on Tuesday night the mayor of Montreal aired her concerns.

Valérie Plante spoke against the government’s new bill to raise the legal age to 21 and to ban using cannabis in public.

She recommended that the legal age of 18 be maintained for Montreal in order to fight contraband marijuana and in an effort to “encourage young cannabis users to stock up on cannabis on the legal market.”

READ MORE: Quebec moves to raise legal age to consume cannabis to 21

Plante added that roughly 60 per cent of Montrealers are renters, who would be disproportionately affected if the government’s bill limiting cannabis consumption to private property becomes law. The city’s renters would be barred from smoking marijuana in public and in their home, if their landlords don’t permit cannabis.

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During Tuesday’s question period, the opposition attacked all sides of the CAQ’s cannabis bill.

WATCH: Quebec cannabis hearings: Bar Association raises concerns

Quebec cannabis hearings: Bar Association raises concerns
Quebec cannabis hearings: Bar Association raises concerns

For one, MNAs questioned 21 as the legal age.

Quebec junior health minister Lionel Carmant replied that his priority is doing what’s best for young people. He said raising the legal age will help to delay the use of cannabis among young adults.

The Liberal opposition also tore into the minister for inviting groups to speak at the National Assembly hearings at the last minute, meaning many were unable to make it.

READ MORE: Quebec slashes cannabis store hours due to shortages

André Fortin accused the government of not really caring about what people have to say.

“Groups coming here today have a better chance of getting a sunburn in Quebec City than convincing the minister to modify his bill,” Fortin said.

“I will reassure them, I am listening,” Carmant later told reporters. “Who says I’m not ready to backtrack on anything?”

— With files from The Canadian Press

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