Justice and Public Safety
June 9, 2017

Public Asked to Provide Input on Legalization of Cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador

Earlier this year, the Government of Canada introduced legislation that if passed, will legalize the sale, growth, distribution and possession of cannabis (marijuana) across the country. It is anticipated that this federal legislation will be in place by July 2018.

In addition to federal legislation, the provinces and territories also have discretion to establish local regulations and restrictions. Decisions must be made on matters including where cannabis may be sold, who may purchase it, and whether certain laws should be updated or changed in the interests of public health and safety.

To assist in making those decisions, the Provincial Government is seeking input from residents through an online questionnaire on the legalization of cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Residents who wish to participate can visit www.engagenl.ca external link. They will be required to create an account before responding but all responses will be anonymous and kept confidential. The questionnaire will close on June 30.

This questionnaire marks the launch of engageNL, the Provincial Government’s new tool that will be used for online engagement. Once residents have created an account, they will be able to participate in any future online consultations launched by government.

Residents who are unable to complete the questionnaire online may request a written version by emailing cannabis@gov.nl.ca or calling 709-729-3103. Written submissions may also be sent using the email address above or through regular mail at the following address:

Re. Cannabis
Health and Community Services
P.O. Box 8700
1st Floor, West Block, Confederation Building
St. John’s, NL
A1B 4J6

In addition to the online questionnaire for the general public, the Provincial Government will also be holding targeted stakeholder meetings later this month. Invitations to those meetings will be sent within the next few days.

“The legalization of cannabis will impact virtually every resident of the province, regardless of whether or not they will use it. The ultimate goals for legalization are to discourage use of cannabis by youth and encourage responsibility among those adults who choose to use, keep the profits from the sale of cannabis out of the hands of criminals while reducing the burden on our criminal justice system and promote safety on our roads and in our workplaces. While the legalization of cannabis is a decision that only the Federal Government can make, we still have to make some important decisions in this province and we look forward to hearing what the public has to say. At the end of the day, we must ensure that the legalization of cannabis is done with the best interests of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in mind.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General

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Learn more
To learn more about the current status of cannabis laws in Canada, and the work being done to legalize and regulate it, visit the Government of Canada’s online resource - www.canada.ca/en/services/policing/justice/legalization-regulation-marijuana.html. external link

To read about the work of the Federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation - healthycanadians.gc.ca/task-force-marijuana-groupe-etude/index-eng.php?_ga=2.199745390.1556850026.1496752844-1053042856.1489169506 external link

Follow us @GovNL external link and @JPS_GovNL external link

Media contact
Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910

2017 06 09                              9:40 a.m.