News / Calgary

Alberta Justice Minister to get cannabis crash course in Colorado

Minister Kathleen Ganley will travel to Colorado from Thursday to Saturday, with hopes of learning how they've handled the legalization of marijuana

Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley will travel to Colorado from Thursday to Saturday, with hopes of learning how they’ve controlled the legalization of marijuana.

Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley will travel to Colorado from Thursday to Saturday, with hopes of learning how they’ve controlled the legalization of marijuana.

Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley won’t be trying any of the brownies when she heads down to Colorado for a crash course in cannabis.

Instead, she hopes Alberta can learn from how Colorado has proceeded since marijuana was legalized in 2012, as Canada prepares for bud to hit the legal market in spring of 2017.

The two biggest problems that Ganley hopes to address during her $4,000 trip south are keeping cannabis out of the hands of youngsters, and creating a system to detect those that drive under the influence.

“They are still working on the science of what constitutes impairment. They measure your ability to walk straight and a lack of coordination, but there is no set content level and a method for testing (like with alcohol impairment).”

While Ganley plans to learn a lot, she said provincial regulations will depend on the framework that the federal government sets out.

“They will determine how permissive or restrictive this is going to be. Ultimately we’re going to fill in around their models,” said Ganley.

But doesn’t mean that Ganley hasn’t discussed the issue with other provincial-territorial ministers. At a meeting in Halifax last week, the ministers agreed that they need the federal government to clearly outline when cannabis will officially be legalized. That way they can have the proper infrastructure in place.

“We need to hear a lot of communication. This federal government has been really good about listening and responding to our needs.”

Despite marijuana being legal in the state for adults over the age of 21, Ganley doesn’t expect to sample any of the product when she visits.

“I don’t think we’re at that stage. In fact, I’ll probably be avoiding any brownies,” she said with a laugh.

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