Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced a public consultation process for B.C. residents and municipal governments ahead of marijuana legalization in July 2017. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

VIDEO: B.C. to consult public on marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth makes announcment at UBCM convention

The B.C. government will consult the public on aspects of marijuana legalization that fall under the province’s control, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Monday.

From now until Nov. 1, people can go to this website to voice their opinions on how the government can keep “young people, neighbourhoods and roads safe” once the drug becomes legal next year.

It’s up to the provinces and territories to decide how to regulate the distribution and retail sales of marijuana, as well as how to enforce marijuana impairment on the road.

READ MORE: Saliva test likely for marijuana impairment

READ: B.C. cities want more money, and more talk, on legal pot

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we meet the July timeline,” Farnworth told reporters, referring to when Ottawa is expected to change the law. The results of this public consultation won’t be available until the spring.

“It’s a tight timeline. We’ve asked for more time… I’d like to have more time, but every statement we’ve heard from the feds says no, July is the date.”

He emphasized the importance of giving municipalities a chance to be heard.

“One size does not fit all,” said Farnworth, noting the opinions of cities outside of the Lower Mainland are often overlooked when senior governments implement new policies.

“This is not about bringing in a revenue stream for the province,” he added. “If that’s how provinces are approaching it, they’re making a big mistake.”

Farnworth, who visited Washington State and Oregon with Finance Minister Carol James to learn about experiences there, said both states were emphatic about how much money legalization will cost long before it brings in any cash.

Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang, who was also at the announcement, concurred.

“Even Colorado and Washington have been lowering their [marijuana] tax rates because although they’re getting money, it doesn’t matter; there’s still a black market,” said Jang. “You’re not achieving your public health goals.”

No agreement has been made yet, Farnworth added, for revenue sharing between federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Just Posted

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in Chilliwack schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

Chilliwack ready for legalization with zoning and business bylaw changes

Cannabis retailers in Chilliwack will have to rezone property to open a storefront

About 400 lined up for lunch and community connections in Chilliwack

Chilliwack organizer calls Winter Warm-Up 2018 a ‘wonderful collaboration’

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Workers at BC Interior mill strike as negotiations resume in Kelowna

Picket lines went up at 4 a.m Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake

5 to start your day

Vancouver police chief says they’re ‘ready’ for legal pot, cyclist struck in Surrey and more

Toronto Police ID B.C. man as naked shark tank jumper

David Weaver, of Nelson, is wanted on mischief and assault charges

In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage

Five days after the hurricane slammed into the Florida Panhandle, people are struggling to locate friends and loved ones.

Prince Harry and Meghan start Aussie tour with baby gifts

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

EU’s Barnier hopes Brexit deal possible in ‘coming weeks’

Britain is set to leave the European Union in March, but a Brexit agreement must be sealed in coming weeks to leave enough time for relevant parliaments to ratify it.

Earth samples show dust from B.C. pipeline blast not a health threat: Enbridge

Enbridge says earth sampling shows mineral and metal composition is well below provincial and federal standards for urban and residential areas.

Postal services ready for looming wave of legal cannabis deliveries

Legal cannabis is set to usher in a wave of high-value, age-restricted parcels in the mail system, and delivery companies say they’re ready.

Most Read