Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced a public consultation process for B.C. residents and municipal governments ahead of marijuana legalization in July 2017. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

VIDEO: B.C. to consult public on marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth makes announcment at UBCM convention

The B.C. government will consult the public on aspects of marijuana legalization that fall under the province’s control, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Monday.

From now until Nov. 1, people can go to this website to voice their opinions on how the government can keep “young people, neighbourhoods and roads safe” once the drug becomes legal next year.

It’s up to the provinces and territories to decide how to regulate the distribution and retail sales of marijuana, as well as how to enforce marijuana impairment on the road.

READ MORE: Saliva test likely for marijuana impairment

READ: B.C. cities want more money, and more talk, on legal pot

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we meet the July timeline,” Farnworth told reporters, referring to when Ottawa is expected to change the law. The results of this public consultation won’t be available until the spring.

“It’s a tight timeline. We’ve asked for more time… I’d like to have more time, but every statement we’ve heard from the feds says no, July is the date.”

He emphasized the importance of giving municipalities a chance to be heard.

“One size does not fit all,” said Farnworth, noting the opinions of cities outside of the Lower Mainland are often overlooked when senior governments implement new policies.

“This is not about bringing in a revenue stream for the province,” he added. “If that’s how provinces are approaching it, they’re making a big mistake.”

Farnworth, who visited Washington State and Oregon with Finance Minister Carol James to learn about experiences there, said both states were emphatic about how much money legalization will cost long before it brings in any cash.

Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang, who was also at the announcement, concurred.

“Even Colorado and Washington have been lowering their [marijuana] tax rates because although they’re getting money, it doesn’t matter; there’s still a black market,” said Jang. “You’re not achieving your public health goals.”

No agreement has been made yet, Farnworth added, for revenue sharing between federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

No decision yet from Sagmoen bail hearing

Provincial court judge is expected to decide next week if Silver Creek man to remain in custody

RCMP officer officially cleared in shooting incident

Police watchdog concludes Salmon Arm officer’s use of force was justified

Suspect faces charges of possession of stolen property, weapon

Two people arrested outside Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm Saturday, woman released without charge

CSRD increases building inspections in the Shuswap

New inspections to take place effective March 5.

Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

The event Hope in Her Eyes managed to raise more than $17,000 for two Kelowna non-profits

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

NDP Health Minister calls to offer woman seat on Interior Health Board

Joyce Beddow-Buckland of Ashcroft was surprised by the call, and accepted the offer.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Vagina Monologues hits the Kelowna stage this week

Okanagan production set to target a hot topic: vaginas

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

Submit nominations for 2018 Okanagan College Alumni Awards

Deadline for nominations is Wednesday, March 14

Most Read