Canada’s Liberal government launched a review of the country’s cannabis legalization on Thursday, four years after the country became the second world country to legalize adult marijuana. Five years after becoming the first country to legalize marijuana, Canada passed the Cannabis Act in 2018.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a press conference on Thursday that the review will help legislators and other policymakers determine whether cannabis legalization meets the needs and expectations of Canadians. said.
“Through this informative, comprehensive and evidence-based review, we will strengthen this law to meet the needs of all Canadians while continuing to keep illicit markets out. We look forward to receiving the Panel’s findings. increase.” Duclos said.
The Cannabis Act mandated a review of cannabis legalization three years after the law was passed. The review, which began a year later than required by law, should study the impact of cannabis legalization on Indigenous peoples, cannabis cultivation on estates, youth health and cannabis use patterns.
“Our government has legalized cannabis to protect the health and safety of Canadians, especially minors, and eliminate the illegal market.” Add Ducross.
Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine Smith, co-chair of the All-Party Cannabis Caucus, could help expose the shortcomings of the landmark cannabis law that made Canada the first in the northern hemisphere to legalize recreational marijuana. said to be sexual.
“In many ways, we are the world leader in promoting sensible drug policy, and cannabis legalization and regulation is one example,” the press conference said. “But it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t right the first time.”
Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Mental Health and Addiction, agreed, noting that the review was designed to partially focus on the mental health implications of cannabis legalization, especially among young people. did.
Minister for Mental Health and Addiction Carolyn Bennett said: “Young people are at increased risk of experiencing harm from cannabis, including mental health problems such as dependence and disorders related to anxiety and depression.” and much progress has been made in the twin objectives of protecting public health and maintaining public safety. need to learn.”
Protect youth and eliminate illegal markets
When Canada’s liberal government passed cannabis legalization in 2018, the goals of the cannabis law included protecting the health of Canadians and eliminating the country’s illegal marijuana market. This review will help authorities determine how effectively the law has met these goals so far.
“We are trying to eliminate the illicit market. It is only a matter of time and in the next three, five, ten years, we will see these numbers change.” said Erskine-Smith. “Legal markets will continue to be a focus for Canadians.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce expressed support for the review, saying a comprehensive assessment would help drive growth in the regulated cannabis market.
“However, law enforcement, business, industry and all levels of government must continue to work together to effectively eliminate illegal markets and protect the public health and safety of all Canadians.” The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s National Cannabis Working Group said: said in a statement.
The mandated review was expanded to include an examination of the social and environmental impacts of cannabis legislation, the legalization and regulation of medical marijuana, and the impact of reforms on minority communities and women. Erskine-Smith said the government’s failure to meet her three-year deadline set by law was to blame for including additional focus areas in the review.
“It was much more important to get the review scope right than the timeline,” he said. “Had we aligned the law with the ‘T’, both in terms of the three-year timeline and the considerations mandated by the law, we would have missed a huge opportunity to get this right. “
The review is conducted by a panel of experts led by former Deputy Justice Minister Morris Rosenberg. The government has yet to appoint the remaining members of the review board.
The panel will hear from the general public, government officials, indigenous groups, youth, cannabis industry representatives and medical cannabis users. The panel will also hear from public health, substance abuse, law enforcement, and healthcare leaders.
“I look forward to working with the Commission and providing evidence-based advice to ministers to strengthen the legislation and advance public policy in this area of Canada’s particular interest,” Rosenberg said Thursday. ‘ said.