The legalization of cannabis is almost upon us and there are still too many unanswered questions.
The federal Liberals can't even tell us when cannabis will be legalized and the provincial Liberals can't even assure us that they're ready for when it does. While many conflicting opinions remain on cannabis consumption, the reality is that it's coming and we need to be ready for it. There’s no question that cannabis legalization has been rushed through the House of Assembly.
I have had continued concerns that this tight timeline will leave us with many unanswered questions – one being what kind of financial support the McNeil government intends to provide for municipalities for policing cannabis.
The McNeil Liberals voted against my proposed bill that would provide funding to municipalities for policing costs on cannabis enforcement. Municipalities are still waiting for clarity and are worried. They are worried that this is happening and there is no funding on the horizon to cover the expensive training needed to enforce this new legislation.
We need strong enforcement of the new rules around cannabis which means providing people on the frontlines with ongoing training and support to detect impaired driving and protect public safety. We need these rules in place before legalization, not after.
Most important of all is that our kids, teachers, and health professionals are well enough informed to make the right choices or provide the appropriate health advice. I was given no assurance or confidence by the Liberal government that this would be the case.
The federal Liberals have decided for all of us and it’s going to be a whole new world, Premier McNeil. We need to do the right thing the first time around and make funding and education available before this hits the shelves. We must keep our local communities safe.
Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia