News / Calgary

Pot survey generates big response from Albertans

Just over 45,000 people took a recent survey about how the province should approach cannabis legalization

Lawmakers are pondering the best way to tax pot and discourage the black market.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP

Lawmakers are pondering the best way to tax pot and discourage the black market.

Albertans have a lot to say about legalizing cannabis outside medical purposes, judging by the number of people who shared their thoughts with the province in a recent survey.

Just over 45,000 Albertans took the online questionnaire about how the province should approach legalization, according to the Justice and Solicitor General’s office.

The survey, which sought feedback on people’s priorities – road safety, eliminating the black market or keeping pot away from minors, for example – closed July 31.

The federal government wants to make recreational cannabis legal by July 2018, but many key decisions have to be made by provinces – such as where and how the drug can be sold or how products should be taxed.

The Notley government previously called the federal government’s timeline ambitious but also said it will do its best to regulate provincial jurisdiction by Ottawa’s deadline.

A provincial pot framework, based on feedback from the survey as well as more than 100 organizations who have met with or submitted written responses to the government, will be released in the fall.

Albertans will then have an opportunity to review it and submit additional feedback, according to the Justice and Solicitor General’s office.

One of the biggest questions is whether Albertans will be able to purchase cannabis at the same age they do alcohol and cigarettes.

Some, including the Canadian Psychiatrists’ Association, have recommended the minimum age to purchase pot be as high as 25, but others argue that will drive younger users to the black market.

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