Police Support Pot and So Do Former Politicians
Canadian Cannabis Chamber includes ex-cabinet ministers and a former Calgary police chief
Former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson and two past Alberta cabinet ministers are part of a group working to promote the legal recreational marijuana industry.
Former justice minister Jonathan Denis belongs to an organization called the Canadian Cannabis Chamber that is providing legal, lobbying and security advice to companies as Canada prepares for the legalization of pot next July.
Denis said he never dreamed he would be working as an advocate for an industry that will sell a substance that people were arrested for during his years as Alberta’s solicitor general.
“The issue of marijuana legalization is not something that I thought would come so quickly,” Denis said.
“The reality is the federal government has decided to make it a legal substance and with that comes some challenges. We want to make sure that there are as few negative effects on society as possible from what will be a legitimate business.”
Alberta government details pot plan, proposes 18 as minimum age
Alberta is proposing that 18 be the minimum age to use cannabis when new laws legalizing recreational marijuana use kick in next summer.
But the province hasn’t yet decided on whether to sell cannabis through government-run stores or through private operators.
The government plans to directly manage the wholesale distribution of cannabis through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).
New Jersey’s Newly Elected Governor Wants to Legalize Pot
Incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, will succeed Republican Chris Christie, who as a candidate for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination threatened to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized it. Murphy, by contrast, thinks New Jersey should join that list. “The criminalization of marijuana has only served to clog our courts and cloud people’s futures, so we will legalize marijuana,” he said after winning the Democratic primary in June. “And while there are financial benefits, this is overwhelmingly about doing what is right and just.” His campaign website promised to “legalize marijuana so police can focus resources on violent crimes.”
New Virginia Governor Pledges Marijuana Decriminalization
Virginia voters gave Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam a promotion on Tuesday, electing him to serve as the state’s next governor.
Northam, a Democrat, made marijuana decriminalization a centerpiece of his gubernatorial campaign, often describing the issue in racial justice terms. He also spoke about the medical benefits of cannabis.
Here’s a look at his statements and pledges on marijuana:
“We need to change sentencing laws that disproportionately hurt people of color. One of the best ways to do this is to decriminalize marijuana,” he wrote in a blog post early this year. “African
Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. The Commonwealth spends more than $67 million on marijuana enforcement — money that could be better spent on rehabilitation.”
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