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Province looking at public engagement on weed legislation

The legalization of marijuana is one step closer to becoming a reality after federal legislation was tabled on Thursday.

Part of the legislation is setting a minimum age requirement. It proposes 18 as the minimum age, but provinces are allowed to set the age higher. The Minster of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley says the province will be doing a public engagement survey to see how residents feel.

“We will be going out to talk to Albertans about a number of topics. Age will be among those topics. We think that is quite central. We will also be asking about health and safety concerns and if they have any concerns about children.”

The minister hopes the engagement will be started in the summer.

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One of the major concerns with legalizing marijuana was developing a road side screening measure for drug impairment. Ganley says they are encouraged by the federal governments effort to create a device.

“We are happy with their approach with the saliva testing. We hope they will continue to work forward to make sure those devices are in place.”

Currently, law enforcement in Alberta has the ability to temporarily to issue a road side suspension if they believe a driver is impaired.

The province will decide where weed can be sold and consumed. The Minister says the province has three areas of focus when it comes to regulation.

“Insuring the cannabis is kept away from children, keeping profits away from criminals and protecting our roads and workplaces.”

The minister goes on to say the health and safety of Albertan’s is their top priority. The federal government hopes to have marijuana legalized by July 2018.

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