Canadian police not ready for cannabis legislationOntario Provincial Police deputy commissioner Rick Barnum told the House of Commons they needed more time. He said police would not be ready to start policing legalised cannabis on August 1, 2018 if legalised in July. He said that while they were almost prepared, it was important to make sure they got it right. Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police drug advisory committee co-chair Mike Serr said they want more time. The police department are asking the government for more time. He said they need more time to prepare so they are ready from the first day of implementation.
Government Pushing Legislation ThroughSmart Approaches to Marijuana president Kevin Sabet supported this. He told the committee to slow down. He said the only people to benefit from the government pushing legislation through so fast were those waiting to profit. His preferred option is not cannabis legalisation. Sabet prefers reducing criminal sanctions and using deterrents. Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police organised crime committee co-chair Thomas Carrique said unpreparedness could mean mistakes. There is a risk that police could make mistakes without enough training in the new legislation. And, it could impact the law and the courts. Carrique also said the new legislation would not get rid of organised crime. Rather, there was an opportunity to reduce it through more stringent regulations. There should be tougher security checks for everyone. This includes investors, contractors and suppliers as well as importers and licence holders. Currently the cannabis black market is worth $7 billion and has more than 300 criminal organisations involved.
US legislation implementationRepresentatives from Washington and Colorado addressed The House. Both states legalised cannabis in 2012. They told the committee there were tough security checks for those producing and selling cannabis.
Colorado Department Cannabis IndustryColorado Department of Revenue executive director Michael Hartman’s department checks out people. Anyone who wants to get into the cannabis industry has to go through his area. All businesses and individuals have to pass an FBI check. There is also a check in to their finances to ensure there is no criminal activity. The Washington representative said there were similar security processes in that state. Hartman told the committee legalised cannabis was competing well with the black market. He said a 2014 survey revealed that 70 percent of the cannabis sold was through the regulated market in Colorado. The study is being updated with that market share expected to have increased. Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board director Rick Garza told the committee the price had to drop. He said that when the cannabis price dropped to around $10 a gram in the legal market, they started competing with the black market. Currently the price of cannabis in Washington is $7.48 a gram. The committee continues to hear submissions on the cannabis legislation due for introduction in July 2018.
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