'It scares me' or 'the right move'? Islanders react to plans to legalize marijuana
People on P.E.I. are reacting to the federal government's plans to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018.
The Liberal government tabled legislation Thursday afternoon, which includes bills to legalize the sale and cultivation of of marijuana, and also to strengthen impaired driving laws.
Some people in P.E.I. were excited to hear the news, while others have concerns.
'Right move to make'
Karen Walton said she was happy to hear about the legislation, and thinks legalizing marijuana is "absolutely the right move to make."
Walton said she has heard about the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and is glad to hear it will soon be more widely available.
She said she'll be interested to find out more specifics about what legalization will look like.
"Probably just how it's sold and the pricing. I think that's probably the most important thing, so that the right people can access it," said Walton.
'I don't like the idea'
Linda Hazelwood said she isn't happy to hear about plans for legalization.
"I really don't agree with it. I think the research shows that it does do harm to the brain. And it's much stronger nowadays than it was back when it was used in the early 60s, and I'd be really concerned about people smoking it and driving, and inattentiveness," said Hazelwood.
Allan Nicholson agrees. He said he is not in favour of legalizing marijuana.
"I've see what marijuana, pot and other drugs and booze can do especially when you take two and two together," said Nicholson.
Nicholson said he is also worried about the impact legal marijuana could have on communities.
"It concerns me a lot, it scares me a lot. And also for children and older people to have to live next door to it," said Nicholson.
'The stigma is kind of going down'
For Andre Boucher, hearing about steps towards legalization is welcome news.
"In my mind, there's way worse things that we needs to be paying and putting more of our police dollars towards fighting than actual marijuana," said Boucher.
Boucher said he thinks once marijuana is legalized, negative opinions about the drug may start to shift.
"I kind of find it's going to be an interesting thing to look at, seeing as the stigma is kind of going down towards that drug," said Boucher.
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