Halifax marijuana activist concerned with limits included in tabled legislation
Published Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:31PM ADT
Local marijuana activists say while the federal government’s newly-tabled legislation is a good first step, they still have serious issues with the limits for legal possession the legislation imposes.
Chris Enns, who runs a dispensary shop in Halifax and has had high-profile run-ins with the law over current pot rules, is concerned with what the legislation will mean for the future.
"We have a regime that is limiting Canadians to 30 grams and four plants with no real subjective reasons or objective reasons as to why that is,” says Enns. “It's a program that's going to be determined to be insufficient by the courts."
Enns says there shouldn't be a limit on how much marijuana Canadians can carry, or how much they can grow in their homes.
Provinces and territories will be able to tailor and enforce rules for their own jurisdictions.
In a statement, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice says in part, “Legalization of cannabis must ensure that the health and safety of children and youth are protected. It is important that we focus on responsible use and that the sale of cannabis is well regulated and minimizes the involvement of organized crime.”
The Nova Scotia NDP says the provincial government should take an active role in distribution.
"From the point of view from the NDP, the primary thing is that we think marijuana should be distributed through the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission. We think this should be done through the public agency,” said Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill.
Halifax Regional Police Chief Michel Blais says he would like to see the age limit set at 25.
"I’m heartened by the fact that there's increased penalties and a bit more rigor around the whole issue of driving while under the influence, whether it's drugs or alcohol," Chief Blais said.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says his main interest will be on zoning and bylaws throughout the municipality.
"For something that's been as publicly expected as the legalization of cannabis, then obviously people have been jumping the gun a bit,” Savage said. “We're glad to get the legislation into the House to have some idea of when this is going to be the law of the land."
It’s a law of the land that Chris Enns hopes to be part of, by joining the conversation with both provincial and municipal officials on local regulations.
"I'm excited to see that we're at least moving in the right steps and the dialogue is opening," he said.
The federal government commits to having royal assent for the Cannabis Act by July 1, 2018.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.