Marijuana in Canada: Legal everywhere but Quebec by July 1, 2018?

Is it possible that government malaise in Quebec might result in cannabis users here being left out of the celebration in the rest of Canada on July 1, 2018.

(Hello, Andrew Potter?)

That’s the day the federal Liberals are saying the herb will be legalized for recreational purposes in Canada, or, at least, in the rest of Canada.

But I’m not so sure about Quebec.

You see, it just seems like so much bother for Quebec’s Liberal party, and one has to wonder if they’re up to the administrative duties involved with handling distribution of the herb in the province, even though Ottawa is shouldering much of the workload by “maintaining supply, issuing licences and quality control,” as CTV points out in a piece on its site. It says Health Minister Gaetan Barrette “is than thrilled with the plan.”

Reports CTV:

“We will have to manage all of this,” said an irritated Health Minister Gaetan Barrette at a news conference Monday. “Of course, Ottawa will step back and let us have all the responsibility, as is always the case.”

Apparently, the province’s finance minister also found the prospect of having to manage distribution disagreeable in comments made last year, CTV says.

And in another report on reaction from various provinces across Canada about the legalization of recreational pot and their role in distributing it, only Quebec’s premier, Philippe Couillard, expressed concern about the extra workload.

Reports the CBC:

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters Monday he agrees with the principle of legalization, but he’s concerned it may create new burdens for the provinces. “We should also be careful not to add too [many] responsibilities on the shoulders of the provinces — for example, regulation, implementation, how we will test people for this. We want to make sure that everybody will play [their] part in the implementation of the bill,” Couillard said.

Never mind that Ottawa is handling supply and quality control and issuing licences, and that Quebec will get as much as 60 percent of tax revenue from the sale of cannabis products here. It’s extra work for Quebec’s Liberals. Merde!

So, don’t be surprised if Quebec and Ottawa squabble over just who should be in charge of distributing cannabis in Quebec, and if it is available everywhere but Quebec on July 1, 2018.

(I’m thinking a PQ government would be on top of this, and would welcome the extra work.)

Here’s a suggestion for Barrette and company: Bring in Marc and Jodie Emery of Cannabis Culture. They will have a distribution system set up in a week or so.

— Jillian

Photo credit: Chmee2, Wikimedia Commons

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