The provincial government is asking Saskatchewan residents for their views on what the rules around marijuana legalization should look like.
An online survey is open until Oct. 6, 2017, asking the public how they think weed should be sold in stores, what the legal age for buying the drug should be and how it should be taxed.
“We want to look to what the citizens say for direction,” Justice Minister Don Morgan told reporters Friday morning
He said the results of the survey would be published as a discussion paper shortly after the deadline, showing comments and general trends of how the public responded.
There would then be another chance for the public to voice concerns as the government works to craft legislation.
“We would have an initial position, and if there was something we were doing that was not consistent with where the public is at we would have a chance to hear from them,” he said.
Morgan noted the federal timeline of legalizing marijuana by July 2018 doesn’t leave them a lot of time, and there’s little hope their request for a year-long delay will be granted.
“It’s a very aggressive timeline,” he said. “We don’t want to be in a place where the federal government legislation is in place and our protective scheme, our regulatory scheme is not.”
He said the time crunch could lead to the justice department applying interim legislation until more concrete rules could be crafted.
The 32-question survey asks the public to rank their concerns over legalization, including what the most important priorities should be among enforcement, education and access.
It also asks whether marijuana should be sold in government-run stores similar to the current SLGA structure, or if private businesses should be able to sell the drug.
Survey respondents can also voice whether condo owners or apartment renters should be able to grow their own marijuana plants — the federal government has suggested a maximum of four personal plants.
After the consultation process, legislation is expected to be brought before the legislature in the spring session under the leadership of a new premier.