Statement on regulatory framework for cannabis

The Government of Canada's commitment to put in place a legalized regulatory framework for cannabis is good news. I fully support this move to a legalized regulatory framework.

We need to focus on cannabis as a public health issue, rather than simply a criminal justice issue. As with any drug policy, we need to ensure that the regulatory framework is comprehensive and addresses treatment, prevention, harm reduction, and enforcement.  Drug use can be complex, and as such, drug policy can be complex as well. 

Key questions regarding the regulatory framework for cannabis need to be answered as part of this process.  Issues like availability, distribution, content, age-appropriateness, and advertising – to name just a few – need to be considered.  Access to medicinal marijuana, a service critical for many of our friends and neighbours, is also a key part of this process. A comprehensive approach is required.

Our task now is to work together with the Federal Government to put in place a regulatory framework that works, and to craft new legislation together. In the interim, a Federal law remains in place regarding the distribution of cannabis, including specific rules for the important use of medicinal marijuana.  That is the Federal law today, and is enforceable.  As the Chair of the Toronto Drug Strategy, I believe that the Federal Government should move quickly, but also responsibly, to craft a new policy. 

Once the Federal Government has put in place a regulatory framework, the City will move quickly to apply it to our context.