N.B. government outlines regulations ahead of cannabis legalization
The New Brunswick government says a new law will cover where and when marijuana can be smoked and how it must be stored.
According to the province, the Cannabis Control Act will outline the following regulations:
- No smoking pot in public places.
- Possession limited to 30 grams.
- Cannabis must be stored in a locked container or locked room.
- Cannabis must be grown in a secure location indoors or outdoors.
"We are serious about keeping children and youth safe and having those products kept out of their hands," says New Brunswick Health Minister Benoit Bourque.
On the roads, the laws will be similar to those covering alcohol impaired driving.
Police officers will have the power to impose:
- Immediate short term roadside suspensions.
- Vehicles of suspected impaired drivers can be impounded.
- Eighteen police officers are getting special training to detect cannabis impairment.
- Salvia tests to measure impairment.
"We're prepared to train some more because 18 for the province might not be enough. But it's a start," says New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Denis Landry.
Every province is preparing health and safety legislation, getting ready for July 1 of 2018 when cannabis becomes legal. Eventually, all of those laws will be subject to the scrutiny of the courts – a process that could take years to complete with an outcome that's far from certain.
Gary Howard says seven months is a tight timeline, and there is great concern among motorists across Canada.
"I don't think the federal government really knew what they were getting themselves in to when they started, but it's going to happen so I think police are trying to catch up," Howard says.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.