Whether you agree with how legalization in Canada is taking shape or not, the one thing that can be agreed upon is that the government has asked for input from its people throughout the historic journey.
Citizens of the Great White North have chimed in through surveys and town halls ever since the idea of legal weed was just a mere glimmer in Canada’s collective eye.
The latest questionnaire has just been released by the Government of Ontario and it’s making the rounds faster than a joint at a Phish concert. This eight page document asks Ontarians a myriad of questions that will help form the initial framework of cannabis legislation in the province.
Some of the queries might seem useless, such as “how do you feel about the legalization of cannabis,” because no matter how you answer, that ship has sailed.
Other questions in the survey ask about frequency of use if you do partake, and the preferred form of pot consumed, such as edibles, flower or shatter.
The question on age limits looks into how strongly residents feel about setting the minimum age at 19, which shows that no matter what, Ontario will not be going for the 18-year minimum that was suggested by the federal task force.
Driving under the influence of pot has been a big topic of discussion throughout the legalization process. The survey continues the discussion by asking Canadians if they support stricter penalties than the current regime, which on the low-end can net drivers a $180 penalty, and on the high-end criminal charges and the loss of one’s license altogether.
A very important part of the questionnaire examines a big topic on the minds of many in the pot industry — where and how cannabis will be sold. Two of the main options are government-owned retail channels such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, or private retail dispensaries, a known favourite of cannabis lovers.
‘[Retail stores] should be a certain distance from an educational institution,” said Toronto City Councillor Jim Karygiannis in an interview with Marijuana.com. “A cannabis store should not be allowed to come within 500 meters.”
Karygiannis had not yet read the survey sent out by the province but did have an opinion on some of the content asked within the document, such as where pot should be sold. “Bigger stores will not cater to people that have special needs. Smaller mom and pop stores will look after your needs.” That being said, Karygiannis stated that the people within dispensaries should have proper training so they can educate the public accordingly.
When asked about how the process of legalization is going in general with Prime Minister Trudeau at the federal level, Karygiannis gave his thoughts. “I have a lot of opinions about Prime Minister Trudeau and I’m not going to share them, however, [cannabis legislation]has to move forward more quickly. This should not be another federal election issue it should be dealt with now.”
As Canadians take part in this latest edition of our cannabis reform, a deluge of opinion will no doubt flood the servers of the provincial government. Those viewpoints will hopefully be taken seriously by our leaders so that come legalization day, we will finally have the proper framework for legal pot that citizens have been unjustly denied for over 90 years.
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