Premier Christy Clark says B.C. ready to work with Ottawa on marijuana legalization

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      British Columbia’s premier has said the province is “ready to endorse and allow” a federal plan to legalize marijuana.

      Speaking to Global News on December 6, Christy Clark was asked if she was supportive of the new Liberal government’s plan to allow for the sale of recreational cannabis.

      “Well, I mean we’re happy to work with whatever the federal government decides on that,” Clark began. “You know they were really clear—and it was a big election issue in B.C.—about their position on this. And so we’re prepared to move forward on it, and I know lots of ideas about how we might regulate it.”

      Clark went on to say she was “pleased” by remarks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made about marijuana during his December 4 throne speech because those focused on regulation.

      “One of the things that I was pleased to see in the throne speech was recognition that there needs to be control over this substance, that we need to make sure that young people whose brains are growing, will not be allowed unfettered access to getting marijuana,” she said. “I think, you know, as a society, if we’re going to—just like we have with alcohol, say you know, it’s something that government is prepared to endorse and allow, we should make sure that the rules are very clear that we don’t want young people to be using it.”

      While brief, those comments are among the most Clark has ever said about the potential legal sale of recreational cannabis.

      In August 2015, the Straight reported on documents released in response to a freedom-of-information request that showed the province was going to great lengths to claim the issue of marijuana legalization was none of its business.

      “The legislative responsibility for controlled drugs and substances, including marijuana, lies with the federal government,” reads one line that appears frequently with slight variations.

      “If medical marijuana businesses, including dispensaries, are operating contrary to municipal bylaw, it is up to the municipality to deal with any contraventions,” reads another typical talking point.

      Trudeau has said marijuana legalization will happen with high levels of input from the provinces and municipal governments across Canada.

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