Former Vancouver mayor, and current BC Senator, Larry Campbell said the federal government should wait up to 18 months before the legalization of cannabis, to ensure the process is done correctly.
Campbell said Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize cannabis requires consultation with provincial and municipal stakeholders.
“I don’t think it is going to be made in isolation, unlike the previous government there will be a lot of meetings between everybody,” said Campbell.
Campbell said Canada’s current cannabis laws are costing the country.
“The way we are doing business, sending people to jail and giving them criminal records is simply unnecessary and extremely costly and the human toll is enormous,” he said. “Go to jail for six months for six plants and I don’t know anyone who thinks that is reasonable.”
Campbell looks at Colorado as an example of how Canada could regulate cannabis.
“They had it well regulated and when change-over came it was virtually seamless,” he said.
When it comes to the actual production and distribution of cannabis, Campbell said the government should stay out of the process after establishing regulations.
“Make sure that government enforces the laws around marijuana but lets the private industry handle the growing and marketing of it,” he said.
Campbell said legalization isn’t something the government should backtrack on.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of this,” he said, “It’s a given that there will be some flaws in the system, nothing is perfect.”