Safety Minister Says Legalization Task Force Announced Within The Next Weeks

In a CBC interview, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government will announce its plan for cannabis legalization in the near future.

“Municipalities and provinces want to be involved in how this is structured and how this is done. They want it done right and they want to be engaged in doing it right,” Goodale said. “That task force involving the provinces and municipalities will be announced very shortly. We’ll have a detailed announcement coming in the next several weeks.”

Goodale’s statements on cannabis reform are a rare drop of information by a Liberal government that has, since being elected, been extremely quiet on any advancement of legalization.

Outside of the appointment of Bill Blair as the Liberals’ lead on cannabis, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have largely stuck to talking points on cannabis legalization, such as keeping it away from youth and the black market.

“We are also taking an initiative in regards to marijuana that will ultimately involve the legalization of marijuana, trying to take the whole profit element out of the hands of organized crime,” Goodale said, in the same CBC interview. “The present regime with respect to marijuana has obviously failed and failed miserably because Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users of marijuana in the Western world.”

The make up of the legalization task force is still unknown, but, in a statement from the Ministry of Health in response to the Allard decision and the government’s decision not to appeal, some details were released.

“In the near future, a task force will be established that will consult broadly with experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement in order to examine and report on all of the issues related to legalization,” the statement read.

When asked if representatives from the cannabis industry and community would also be part of the task force, communications staff from the Department of Justice would only comment that any announcements would be made in the future.