Briefing Book No Indication of Priorities Says Justice Department

A story from the National Post story this week wrote that, based on Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s briefing book, cannabis legalization was the Liberal government’s lowest priority, but representatives from the Justice Department said that isn’t the case.

In the article, author Ian MacLeod wrote, after obtaining the minister’s briefing book, “don’t hold your breath for the legalization of marijuana to happen any time soon. The 415-page briefing book prepared for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has the Liberal campaign pot pledge on page 410.”

Department of Justice senior advisor Ian McLeod said the implied importance of legalization’s location in the document is conjecture on the part of the National Post.

“The items included in the binder were in no particular order of priority, but covered subjects which required the minister’s attention in her first days as minister,” said McLeod.

McLeod said cannabis legalization and regulation of cannabis remains a commitment of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government and was included in the mandate letters for the ministers of justice, health and public safety.

“It would be premature, however, to speculate or comment on specifics or timing of these changes; until such time, existing laws remain in force,” said McLeod. “The sale of cannabis remains a prohibited activity under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, unless it is done in accordance with the relevant regulations.”

Dispensaries and other sellers of marijuana who are not licensed under the current law are illegal, but local authorities must be able to make their own decisions about local enforcement priorities.”