Task force chair talks marijuana legalization at SFU

Anne McLellan says regulations for pot will be very different than those for alcohol

Curious about how Canada might legalize marijuana? Lower Mainland residents will get the chance to learn more on Thursday night.

Anne McLellan, the chair of the federal task force on legalizing marijuana, is speaking about a report last fall in which the group made 80 recommendations on how Ottawa should go about legally selling the drug.

Recommendations included not selling marijuana in the same place as alcohol or tobacco sales, as well as a legal buying age, and personal possession and growing limits.

When the report was released, B.C. lawyer and pot reform advocate Kirk Tousaw questioned what he saw as the arbitrary nature of the possession and growing limits.

McLellan said the task force is following recommendations and best practices from law enforcement officials and jurisdictions in the U.S., where recreational marijuana is legal.

“They all have a limit in terms of the number of plants. It could be four, six, in some cases maybe 10 or 12,” she said. “We concluded that four plants [that are] 100 centimetres high would provide the average moderate user with sufficient product for his or her personal use.”

The personal possession limits are not based on whether pot is more or less harmful than alcohol, McLellan added, but rather on making a better framework for marijuana.

“Public health experts … told us that alcohol is a failed public health regime,” she said. “They do not want us to adopt the alcohol regime in the name of public health and public safety.”

McLellan is speaking at the SFU Segal Building at 500 Granville St at their Vancouver campus. A live webcast is available here. Visit SFU’s website to learn more about the event.

 


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