Legalized Marijuana In B.C.: Minimum Age Will Be 19 Says Government

British Columbia has become the latest province to lay out its plan for regulating legalized marijuana.

The B.C. government is outlining some of its plans related to the anticipated legalization of non-medical marijuana next year. It outlined that marijuana sales will be allowed for people 19 and over at both public and private vendors.  Legalized marijuana will be regulated.

Basically, B.C. is following other provinces in keeping the age of consumption, purchase, and possession of marijuana consistent. This will be consistent with alcohol and tobacco laws. It will be more effective to protect young people and eliminate the black market.

“We know that the largest consumers of cannabis are young people,” Farnworth said when asked about evidence from health experts on the danger of cannabis. “If you set it too high, for example at 25, you’re not going to get rid of the black market. They’re going to go and get it elsewhere.”

The federal government to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018.

BC set for legalized marijuana. Joint are sold in vancouver
Joints displayed for a marijuana celebration in Vancouver.

via The Huffington Post

British Columbia’s announcement on legalized marijuana follows a public consultation period. B.C. received nearly 50,000 residential submissions. This on-going consultation included 141 local and Indigenous governments.

No comments on online sales or whether current marijuana dispensaries would be able to apply for licenses. This would allow dispensaries to continue operating after legalization.

Not to mention, the government expects to release details of its retail model towards the end January. Additionally, people want to see more work done on plant growth for personal use. Manitoba has already decided against this option due to enforcement concerns.

The Public’s Views

Legalized marijuana is on track for BC
Public safety minister Mike Farnworth announces a public engagement process for the regulation of marijuana in British Columbia on Sept. 25, 2017.

via CBC News

During B.C.’s public consultation time it was obvious that the public views on drug-impaired driving were split. Some want a zero tolerance rule where others said cannabis doesn’t impact the ability to drive.

In addition, there was confusion around consultation participants on distribution and retail sales of legalized marijuana. Many are opposing to Ontario’s cannabis plan due to the loss of dispensaries.

“Most of these individuals preferred to see the existing dispensaries and their supply chain legitimized, licensed and regulated,” the report says.

Furthermore, The future for dispensaries currently operating in Vancouver remains unclear. Ontario intends to sell in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. This will ban consumption in public spaces or workplaces.

Lastly, two points emerged on public consumption. People don’t want to be subject to second-hand smoke in public places. Also, people want cannabis consumption limited to indoor use at a private residence or a designated space.