The federal government’s highly anticipated pot plans are expected to be announced Thursday.
The legislation is expected to address the age requirements, who will be allowed to grow it and by how much as well the powers Ottawa will afford the provinces to deal with the drug.
It is that final point that has those in Saskatchewan concerned.
“There are a number of issues that we have to answer, there’s a number of questions, how is it going to be dispensed, who’s going to be responsible for that, what are the taxation rules going to be,” Gord Wyant said at the legislature Wednesday. “We don’t know what the taxing regime is going to look like, we don’t know what the legislation looks like yet, we don’t know what the financial impact will be from the federal government perspective.”
Wyant has heard from the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA). That group is concerned about how marijuana users will be tested. Given the on-the-job rules and workplace safety regulations governing the SCA, workers are already tested for alcohol but there is no similar mechanism for pot.
Wyant echoes those same public safety concerns.
“We have breathalyser machines that do that when it comes to alcohol, we don’t have the same type of equipment for marijuana so there is going to have to extensive training for all police officers,” Wyant argued.
Saskatchewan has set up a task force to look into some of these issues in preparation for the change in laws.