Far too early to consider selling marijuana in P.E.I. liquor stores

Teresa Wright
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Marijuana

Finance Minister Allen Roach says it is not on his agenda right now

P.E.I. Finance Minister Allen Roach says it’s far too early to contemplate selling marijuana in Prince Edward Island liquor stores.

“I’ll be honest with you, marijuana being sold anywhere in P.E.I. is not on my agenda right now,” he told The Guardian.

“It’s premature to say we’re going to do it at the liquor stores or through any other way of selling it.”

Earlier this month, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne suggested the federal government could use the Ontario liquor board as a marijuana vendor if and when Ottawa legalizes sale of the drug in Canada.

She is not alone.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has also said provincial liquor stores would be best suited to sell marijuana if legalization occurs, and officials in British Columbia are actively pushing the federal government to allow private liquor stores to sell the drug once it becomes legal.

Prince Edward Island is taking a more wait-and-see approach.

“At this point in time it’s not yet legalized. I’m not sure what the federal government’s time frame and agenda is on that or how or when they intend on rolling it out, but I’m sure that there’s going to be a lot of debate in Ottawa before we get to that point,” Roach said.

As a former RCMP officer, Roach says he has long been a strong proponent of decriminalizing marijuana.

“I’ve seen enough over my time, and I’ve spent a lot of time in drug enforcement, and I’ve believed for many years that possession of marijuana, for those very simple possession charges, should have been decriminalized,” he said.

“We have a lot of people who have experimented with marijuana, they have a very small quantity on them, they’re trying it, it’s curiosity. And I felt that for someone to have, let’s say, half a gram or a gram of marijuana and for them to be charged and have a criminal record because of that, I’ve always felt that wasn’t perhaps necessary.”

In the meantime, he says the province will watch what happens in Ottawa and leave debate about how the drug would be legally distributed and sold in P.E.I. until more definitive changes have been made at the federal level.

“My own belief is that it’s way out in front of us at this time… I think we’ll have a lot of time in the interim to discuss how it’s going to be rolled out.”

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: The Guardian, RCMP

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Ottawa, Ontario Canada Manitoba British Columbia

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Recent comments

  • no please and izzy
    January 04, 2016 - 04:55

    no please should wake up ,,,it is going to happen it will be legalized lol, and do you think it is better to drive while smoking black market weed lmao it can still be picked up on any corner already get a grip on the reality around you .....Izzy i meant we could be the last to finally allow it here hence the pop can scenario ,,the rest of the country was allowed to actually buy canned pop or beer how many years was it before you were allowed to use a can ,,we were the last

  • don
    January 03, 2016 - 18:14

    Minister Allen Roach you will do as the PM tells you to do and nothing more..

  • Concerned PEI resident
    January 03, 2016 - 10:51

    I'm glad to see he is (sensibly) a proponent of decriminalization, which is a start. The cultivation of small amounts (5-10) cannabis plants should be the very first thing that the government of PEI should allow. This will give medicinal and recreational users an option to avoid using the black market while the method of sale for commercial cannabis is worked out. Home growing options must be permitted in the coming legalization of cannabis.

  • mad as hell
    January 03, 2016 - 09:21

    Don't hold your breath waiting for this... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Convention_on_Narcotic_Drugs Until the issue of this particular UN treaty that Canada is a signatory to is resolved, there is no legal way for any level of our Governments to allow sales for any reason other than medical. If hey can't make money from it they will not do it.

  • No Please
    January 03, 2016 - 09:17

    Oh God….no! There’s way-too-many dumbasses now that are drinking and texting while behind the wheel and now they want to do the same with marijuana.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 02, 2016 - 12:46

    To begin with, there are 2 distinctions that must be made, medical use and recreational use. The Premier should get out in front of this, rather than react to whatever Ottawa chooses to do. The Premier should remove all prohibition on the cultivation and use of medical marijuana first, then work towards removing all prohibition on marijuana cultivation, use and sale in PEI. While we are talking about it, there should be vaporizers in all hospitals for medical marijuana patients. It is almost criminal not to have these in hospitals now.Anytime Roach says "I'll be honest with you" you can bet that he is not being totally honest with you. Politicians, such as Roach, have shades of right and wrong, shades of honesty. Just ask him about PNP or EGaming and watch the pat answers come out, directed by the premier himself.

  • SlyFox
    January 02, 2016 - 10:40

    So Mr.Roache would arrest a person for a half gram of weed? This amount is between 7-10bucks worth ,a officers pay per hour is around 34 dollars and it would take at least two hours to process the person charged. Does this make sense to anyone?

  • pop can scenario
    January 02, 2016 - 10:11

    Why is PEI always have to be the last at everything ? Why for a change can we not be the first to make the leap for a change ?Seems like perfect scenario for a place that is lacking in employment opportunities ..Lets make sure all the other provinces get the first crack and reap all the benefits ..It is going to happen no if`s about it ,so why wait ...Already assuming myself and others will be driving to nb or ns to get pot like we had for a darn can grrrrrr WAKE UP PEOPLE...To those that will disagree , open your eyes it is coming anyway .

    • izzy
      January 03, 2016 - 14:20

      Not sure what you are talking about. How can PEI be the last when the country hasn't even legalized it yet? What are you suggesting we be the first in "making the leap" for?

  • pop can scenario
    January 02, 2016 - 10:10

    Why is PEI always have to be the last at everything ? Why for a change can we not be the first to make the leap for a change ?Seems like perfect scenario for a place that is lacking in employment opportunities ..Lets make sure all the other provinces get the first crack and reap all the benefits ..It is going to happen no if`s about it ,so why wait ...Already assuming myself and others will be driving to nb or ns to get pot like we had for a darn can grrrrrr WAKE UP PEOPLE...To those that will disagree , open your eyes it is coming anyway .

  • john dunbar
    January 02, 2016 - 09:07

    Selling pot in liquor stores is the obvious route given that it is to be newly considered as a not totally safe `drug' for children. Most provinces seem to agree but this guy seems not to care much. The question is why does he have anything to say about it.

  • Islander
    January 02, 2016 - 07:23

    Did you say being honest? This is quite a change ferom your performance in the fall session about egaming

    • former islander
      January 03, 2016 - 10:51

      Shut up Islander! this has nothing to do with e-gaming, you idiot..typical tory!