The provincial government has announced more support for municipalities and law enforcement to help ensure communities and roads are safe in advance of cannabis legalization. Over the next two years, municipalities will receive $40 million to assist with implementation costs related to the legalization of cannabis.
Many elements of this support to municipalities and law enforcement are in line with CMHA Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation submission to the Ministry of Attorney General. These recommendations include:
- Increasing the capacity of local law enforcement, including the Ontario Provincial Police, by funding sobriety field test training for police officers to help detect impaired drivers
- Providing public health units with support and resources to help address local needs related to cannabis legalization
- Developing a program to divert youth involved in minor cannabis-related offences away from the criminal justice system
While the announcement is a positive step, CMHA Ontario also strongly recommends that the government of Ontario partner with community-based mental health and addictions service providers to develop and immediately implement a comprehensive public awareness campaign regarding cannabis-associated health risks. In particular, education for youth should be a key component of awareness initiatives and should start as early as possible with age-appropriate content.
Learn more about the announcement on the Government of Ontario website.