News / Vancouver

B.C. party leaders want legal cannabis age set above 18 years old

VANCOUVER — The leaders of British Columbia's two main political parties agree that 18 is too young for people to be allowed to purchase marijuana under plans by the federal government to legalize the drug.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark says her top priority is keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, so she would lift the limit to "at least" 19, the same age when its legal to purchase alcohol in B.C.

The NDP's John Horgan says he would consult on how best to roll out the new industry, but it's his opinion that if you're allowed to crack a beer at 19, you should be allowed to light a joint, too.

The federal government has introduced legislation that would legalize pot on July 1, 2018, giving provinces time to come up with sales and distribution regimes and decide whether to raise the age limit from 18.

Meanwhile, Green Leader Andrew Weaver says he's troubled by the federal government's plan because it favours large licensed producers and B.C. needs to foster a strong "craft cannabis" sector.

The three main leaders were asked about their plans for legalization during a radio debate that coincidentally fell on 4-20, the annual weed protest day.

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