The new federal health minister said “the world is going to be looking to Canada” as the government moves to legalize and regulate cannabis.
Minister Jane Philpott said the government will look at other areas that have legalized but, so far, she hasn’t seen the perfect model to emulate.
Philpott said a task force is in the process of being created to consult with legal authorities, scientists and public safety officials before legalization and regulation is deployed across the country.
The minister said it was conversations about marijuana with her children, and how easy they could access it, that convinced her cannabis prohibition wasn’t working in the country.
“I think most thoughtful Canadians recognize that the current system isn’t working and they’re looking to us to make sure we make a wise decision,” said Philpott.
While Philpott said it was too early to say what kind of restrictions would be placed on cannabis sales, she said the government would ensure teens would be unable to access marijuana.
“It’s extremely important to me as a young parent and as a [health-care] provider to make sure we keep marijuana out of the hands of kids and young people, whose brains are developing. And at the moment, unfortunately, it’s extremely accessible,” Philpott said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assigned the task of cannabis regulation to Philpott, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould who are in the process of working with provincial and territorial leaders.