The government launched its first phase of public engagement opportunities last week with an online survey. “We want to hear from Albertans who are 17 and older about their views on a number of issues related to cannabis,” said Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley. Topics they are asking for input on include distribution and sale, where consumption can take place, health concerns, cannabis use, workplace safety, drug impaired driving, and more. “The online survey is a critical part of our engagement, but it’s not the only way our government is going to be consulting with Albertans,” explained Ganley. Roundtables with experts, municipal partners and indigenous leaders are also planned, as well as one-on-one sector-specific meetings with employers, unions, youth, healthcare representatives, addiction and mental health, policing organizations, and producers. “We also want to be conducting surveys at public events around the provinces, like festivals throughout the summer months,” added Ganley. Deciding on a public or private retail and distribution model is also going to be another aspect the province is consulting with Albertans. The federal government has made July 2018 as its goal to have cannabis legalized, regulated, and restricted across the country. “I encourage Albertans to talk about this important topic amongst themselves, informally with family, friends, neighbours because at the end of the day, there is a lot to talk about,” said Ganley. The provincial government created a “conversation toolkit” to help with those conversations and keep people informed. The toolkit is available for download on the government website. “The legalization of cannabis is multifaceted.
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