Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik October 12, 2017 - 1:10 pm

Nunavik leaders say cannabis legalization poses public safety concerns

"Our goal is to be adequately prepared when the law becomes effective"

Kativik Regional Government and Kativik Regional Police Force representatives took part in a Sept. 29 consultation in Quebec City focused on how Indigenous communities and regions can prepare for new legislation which will allow for the legal possession and recreational use of marijuana. (PHOTO COURTESY OF KRPF)
Kativik Regional Government and Kativik Regional Police Force representatives took part in a Sept. 29 consultation in Quebec City focused on how Indigenous communities and regions can prepare for new legislation which will allow for the legal possession and recreational use of marijuana. (PHOTO COURTESY OF KRPF)

Nunavik leaders say they’ll face a number of challenges dealing with cannabis use in the region after recreational possession and cultivation is legalized in 2018.

The federal government’s Cannabis Act, or Bill C-45, would create a framework for the legal production, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana across Canada, set to become law on July 1, 2018.

The federal legislation sets 18 as the minimum age for cannabis possession, but territories and provinces may set a higher minimum age through regulation, and territorial, provincial and municipal governments may decide how and where individual consumers can buy it and smoke it.

Last month, the Quebec government told Radio-Canada that it will set 18 as the minimum age for possession. The Ontario government has already announced it will set a minimum age of 19.

The Quebec government has yet to say how it will control and distribute cannabis in the province, but Radio-Canada has reported that marijuana will likely be managed by Quebec’s liquor board, the Société des alcools du Québec—an agency that does not operate in Nunavik.

The province plans to introduce its own legislation to regulate cannabis in the National Assembly this fall.

Under the new federal legislation, Canadians would be be allowed to possess 30 grams of marijuana at a time, or to cultivate a maximum of four plants.

What’s unclear is how the new legislation will change access in the Nunavik region.

Executives of the Kativik Regional Government and Kativik Regional Police Force took part in a consultation between Indigenous groups and the Quebec government late last month to address the regulation of cannabis in the region’s 14 communities.

Nunavik’s leaders say there are “numerous” and “complex” challenges associated with the new legislation, including health and public safety concerns.

“Our goal is to be adequately prepared when the law becomes effective next year,” said KRPF police chief Michel Martin in an Oct. 11 release.

“Significant prevention work will need to be done to ensure the security of Nunavimmiut and to minimize the impacts on public safety.”

But Nunavik police haven’t specified what those public safety concerns are.

In the first four months of 2017, the KRPF seized almost 12 kilograms of marijuana or hash in the region—with a street value of about $580,000—including marijuana that was seized during Canada Post operations.

Nunavimmiut pay $50 for a gram of marijuana in the region, compared to about $12 a gram in a southern city like Montreal. Most of that marijuana is thought to arrive in Nunavik by plane.

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(10) Comments:

#1. Posted by Inuk , who likes his weed on October 12, 2017

Nunavik leader say they ll face a number of challenges with cannabis.  Thalk about , heads in the clouds, its been a challenge for yrs, only thing is in 2018 , it going to be legal and out in the public

#2. Posted by ""Problems"" on October 12, 2017

Like what? Less opiate abuse and too few passion flakeys and oh henrys at Northmart? Climb down off your high horses and join us here in the future. Prohibition of vices simply creates a market for criminal activity.

#3. Posted by Hello on October 12, 2017

Time for Makivik to step up and start an inuit owned-business so our money stays in the region and not to some southern corporation. In addition, do a little research (not hard) and realize the medical benefits cannabis has and inform the public on what ways it can be used other than smoking

#4. Posted by One step ahead on October 12, 2017

Theyshould be more concerned with the speed dealers,cocaine dealers, unlicensed bingos,unlicensed nevada sales, loose dogs,etc. etc.
Marijuana will not cause broken homes,shattered dreams and poverty.

At least I never saw a license posted at the bingo hall

There are many many many many many more social issues that should get attention

#5. Posted by Makivik Bought and Sold on October 12, 2017

You should look at Makivik now.  It looks like it was 30 yrs ago.  Inuit doing a little bit bit more.  Even enough to say because it is 2017.  Inuit still have gotten nowhere and millions are being paid to consultants from other places. 

Nunavik really needs economic and ownership rehab.  All those guys who talk about Inuit owned, Inuit runned, do not really want to talk about their record, which is Inuit ruined. 

We need young people and their crazy ideas.  The old ways are not good for us.

#6. Posted by challenging? on October 12, 2017

It’s not like there is no marijuana consumption in Nunavik, lol.  There are tons of people who use it on a regular basis.  The good news is that it will be legal and the police will be able to better use their time busting the people selling harder drugs which do more harm.  And hopefully it will bring prices down.  It’s not the best habit to have, brings motivation down especially with younger people but marijuana is there to stay . Might as well legalise it. Why does Makivik find it so challenging? Won’t it be kind of straight forward?

#7. Posted by SAM Canada on October 12, 2017

We are deeply concerned about the lack of public education dollars the federal government has come up with and we are part of a national coalition that is trying to slow down the Liberal Agenda that would see legalization rolled out by July 1 2018 before the regional governments are ready and the others - there is an urgent needs for massive education on the harms associated with marijuana use for anyone at any age - and to roll this out without that education will harm people for sure - more youth means more cognitive developmental problems, more young men more testicular cancer and problems with sterility, more pregnant women and more low birth weight babies and other complications, more addiction, more psychotic breaks, more suicides as the science is showing a 7 fold increased rate of suicide and more accidents and harm.
The Liberals should not be rolling out legalization at this time and no one should be supporting this ill thought out plan - many people were not consulted.

#8. Posted by Farmer Joe on October 13, 2017

I used to grow a small amount , before for personal use(never sold ). I think , i grow a bigger patch after July of next yr. Happy toking my fell toker

#9. Posted by tusutti nunavimmiu but not on welfare on October 13, 2017

at least we will know what we are smoking when they legalize . sativa or indica, half breed and how much thc there is in what we are buying is just a few things that i can think of and im not a heavy smoker of weed.

#10. Posted by Little late??? on October 13, 2017

Aren’t they a little too late for public safety concerns???, they should have started when the Liberal’s campaign at the time to “legalize it” and now it’s becoming reality, on the last minute they’re trying to find a way or to brainstorming which should have been done years ago.
Looks like they hit the brick wall and not much of a choice but, to follow the new law. wink

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