Taxation of legalized pot won’t be a government cash cow, Trudeau says

The prime minister says there's potential for a bit of revenue from legalizing marijuana, but the federal government isn't looking for a financial windfall.

OTTAWA — The prime minister says there’s potential for a bit of revenue from legalizing marijuana, but the federal government isn’t looking for a financial windfall.

Justin Trudeau says any money that flows to public coffers through taxation of pot should go towards addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs — not general revenues.

In a roundtable interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau said that for his party legalization of marijuana has always been about public health and safety, not about making money.

The Liberals have promised to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana to keep it out of the hands of children while denying criminals the financial profits.

The new system of marijuana sales and distribution would include appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes.

However, Trudeau cautions that taxing pot too much would fuel the black market, something that resulted from heavy taxation of tobacco cigarettes.

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