Senator Doug Black

Calgary senator supports marijuana legalization

Senator Doug Black said legalizing marijuana will take billions out of hands of criminals

Calgary Senator Doug Black said the time has come to legalize recreational marijuana.

“There are too many young people who are using marijuana or have used marijuana that risk getting a criminal record, or have a criminal record.

“It’s tough enough for young people in this country now without starting out your career and your process of building a career dragging around a criminal conviction over marijuana,” said the independent senator during a stop in Lacombe last Friday to speak to the local Rotary Club.

“That’s a bad thing for this economy.”

As well, the current state of affairs means there are billions of dollars going to the “bad guys that should be going to the good guys,” he said, adding that money could be spent on roads, schools and hospitals.

The Senate voted last month to approve in principle the Liberal government’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana. Five different Senate committees will now scrutinize the legislation before it returns to the upper house for debate and a final vote on June 7.

Black said there will be issues to be ironed out.

“Are there difficulties with implementation? Of course, there are going to be difficulties with implementation.

“I worry principally about policing and the extra demands to be put upon officers.”

One of the thorny issues facing politicians is determining how much marijuana can be smoked or consumed for someone to be considered impaired and the lack of roadside technology similar to a breathalyzer.

“Law enforcement officers and the police association are saying, (we are) happy to enforce it but what are we enforcing and how do we test?”

That issue needs to be worked out “pretty quickly actually,” he said.

The challenges of legalizing marijuana can be addressed, he believes.

“I just don’t think we want to be in too big a rush here.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Saskatchewan RCMP charge man in abduction that sparked Amber Alert last Sunday

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Saskatchewan RCMP have arrested a man following an… Continue reading

One dead following police-involved shooting in Burlington, Ont.

BURLINGTON, Ont. — Ontario’s police watchdog says a 32-year-old man was shot… Continue reading

Several injured as Tornado tears through Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

OTTAWA — A tornado ripped through the Ottawa area Friday afternoon, damaging… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

VANCOUVER — Clearing or burning beetle ravaged forests may be costly but… Continue reading

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

Most Read