Calgary to ask Ottawa for a slice of pot pie
Growing marijuana at home should be legal, with restrictions to be determined, committee says
When marijuana legalization hits Canada in spring 2017, Calgary hopes it gets a cut of the new tax revenue that's sure to follow.
On Thursday, a council committee approved official positions that the city will present to Ottawa as the federal government begins making decisions about how pot legislation should be crafted.
Those policy positions include making sure the city has control over licensing, that people are allowed to grow a limited amount of cannabis at home, and that Calgary get a slice not just of any marijuana tax, but of all sin taxes.
"Why not?" asked Ward 11 Coun. Brian Pincott in an interview with CBC Calgary News at 6.
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Pincott said the burden for policing alcohol and marijuana use costs the city, and it would be "really nice" to receive some compensation for that law enforcement.
"We're going to be checking to see if people drive under the influence. That lands on us, on the city's operating budget for police, just as it does with alcohol," he said.
"It'd be really nice if we got a slice of the sin tax to be able to pay for those kinds of things."
Small-scale home growing OK, says committee
City administration originally recommended that the city lobby on behalf of a complete prohibition on growing recreational marijuana at home — a recommendation that was later nixed.
"This isn't about somebody setting up a grow-op. This is about the person who wants to grow 10 plants," said Pincott. The city has yet to determine exactly what restrictions it would advocate for.
Pincott admits asking for a cut of the federal government's alcohol and marijuana revenues is a long shot, and he's not holding his breath.
"Not as long as you would if you were actually inhaling, no."
With files from CBC Calgary News at 6