‘Right on track’ – Charlottetown MP discusses marijuana legalization

By Grace Gormley

Jan. 24, 2017

Cannabis will soon be legal in Canada, as promised.

Headway in legalization is being made, Sean Casey told students at Holland College Jan 23.

Members of Parliament are committed to introducing legal marijuana in Canada by the middle of 2017 said Casey, the MP for Charlottetown.

“The foundation has been laid.”

The bill is expected to be introduced no later then June of this year, and will then be in the hands of provincial domains.

It will become more of a health issue and a drug and substance issue, said Casey.

“It’s all about how it’s going to be controlled.”

Many questions about the amendment still remain, including where the substance will be sold and what the appropriate legal age to purchase will be.

Johnathon McGrath thinks 19 years of age is appropriate.

“It should be right on par with the drinking age.”

McGrath, an officer with the Charlottetown police, also thinks it would be best to sell it in a section of the liquor stores.

“Marijuana isn’t a huge problem on the Island so far.”

Another positive thing that may come with legalization is a reduction in drug dealers, he said.

However legalization will most likely increase usage, and McGrath worries that more people will be driving while high.

The same steps and punishments are taken for impaired drivers, whether it be drinking alcohol or taking drugs, which many people are unaware of.

City police will be keeping a close eye when the time comes, McGrath said.

Chloe Roche, a nursing student at UPEI, thinks 19 is too young.

Taking marijuana in high school affects school performance, and brain development, Roche believes.

“Students are still immature at that age.”

Twenty-one would be more reasonable, she said.

As someone who was involved in a car accident while the driver was impaired by marijuana, Roche knows first-hand the affects that cannabis can have on a person.

“It’s still dangerous even if it’s not alcohol.”

There will have to be measurements put in place that can detect marijuana use, because as of right now it could be hard to prove that someone is high, she said.

“They should be able to test levels of weed in a person’s system.”

Otherwise, Roche says, P.E.I. roads will become more unsafe.