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MPs hear from public health, addiction experts as Goodale sticks to pot legalization deadline

MPs on the House of Commons health committee are conducting a third day of hearings on the government’s marijuana legalization legislation.

Wednesday’s witnesses include public health and addiction experts, as well as a representative from the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations.

On Tuesday, committee members heard from police representatives, who said the government’s plan to have a new regulated market in place by next July is too ambitious and meant police would not be ready to enforce the new regime.

That echoes the message that several provinces have been delivering in recent months.

But at the Liberal cabinet retreat in St. John’s on Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government was sticking to its timetable to legalize cannabis by next summer.

“The timeframe is a solid one, the deadline is 10 months away, or 11 months away, so there’s time there to move forward,” Goodale said, noting a meeting is scheduled with premiers in November to check on progress.

“We believe that the timeframe we’ve set out is reasonable. We’ve put new money on the table to help achieve the objectives and the mood among all of those that need to work on this is a constructive mood,” he said, adding the government is listening to the feedback it is getting.

Goodale says government is sticking to pot timetable1:37

The committee is holding five full days of uninterrupted hearings this week.

Along with hearing from witnesses, the committee has received 99 written submissions.

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