Marijuana legalization talks heighten as Canada’s Health Minister says, “We will introduce legislation in spring 2017”

Health minister in New York for UN talks to review global drug treaties
CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2016 10:55 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2016 8:04 PM ET


Marijuana legalization talks heighten as Canada's Health Minister says, "We will introduce legislation in spring 2017"

Pro-legalization demonstrators gather on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, known as 4/20 for the date April 20. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)

Federal legislation to legalize marijuana will be ready in a year, Canada’s health minister told the UN at a special session of the General Assembly in New York today.

“We will introduce legislation in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals,” Jane Philpott said in her prepared speech to delegates.

“We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures. We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem,” she said.

Delegates are reviewing the progress and implementation of the UN’s 2009 action plan on drugs to assess ongoing challenges in combating the world’s drug problems. Three days of meetings will conclude Thursday.

Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister who serves as Canada’s point man on the legalization legislation, is with Philpott in New York.

“It’s a great deal of work. It’s important to do it right. And so, we’re looking at regulations with respect to production, distribution, the retail and consumption of marijuana and we want to make sure that it’s based on the best advice from experts.” Blair told reporters on his way to the meetings on Tuesday.

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