Select committee on cannabis releases report01 September 2017
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The legislature’s select committee on cannabis, which is comprised of government members and opposition members, has released its final report.
Consulting New Brunswickers: The Legalization of Recreational Cannabis in New Brunswick is based on public consultations held across the province in July. The committee met with the public following the release of the Report of the New Brunswick Working Group on the Legalization of Cannabis, which looked at the challenges and opportunities of legalizing recreational cannabis and proposed a model for a legal cannabis industry. The working group report was used as a discussion guide during public consultations.
“We thank the presenters and members of the public who appeared before the committee and those individuals and groups who submitted written briefs,” said Benoît Bourque, committee chair and Kent South MLA. “With their help, we were able to put together a true reflection of the thoughts and feelings of a wide range of New Brunswickers on this issue.”
Although the select committee heard varying viewpoints on the proposed model for a legal cannabis industry, the consultations produced several areas of consensus, including:
- Ensuring an appropriate model is implemented, as there is only one opportunity to do so.
- Keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth.
- Shutting out organized crime.
- Investing in education.
- Addressing health concerns.
- Ensuring public safety.
More than 70 presenters appeared before the committee during its public consultations held in Grand Falls, Atholville, St. Stephen, Saint John, Moncton, Miramichi, and Fredericton. In addition, the committee received local and national input by way of more than 40 written submissions.
In addition to Bourque, the committee members were: Restigouche West MLA Gilles LePage, vice-chair; Victoria-La Vallée MLA Chuck Chiasson; Moncton East MLA Monique LeBlanc; Carleton-Victoria MLA Andrew Harvey; Gagetown-Petitcodiac MLA Ross Wetmore; Edmundston-Madawaska Centre MLA Madeleine Dubé and Fredericton-Grand Lake MLA Pam Lynch.
Copies of the report are available online.
Bourque will be available to speak to the media about the report at 10 a.m. today, Sept. 1, in the rotunda of the legislative assembly, 706 Queen St., Fredericton.01-09-17