Province wants feedback on marijuana legalization in Alberta

The province wants to hear from Albertans aged 17 and up on what marijuana legalization should look like in Alberta.

Online survey will be open to all Albertans age 17 and up until July 31

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley speaks to reporters Friday. The province has launched an online survey around marijuana legalization, open until July 31. (Julien Lecacheur/CBC)

The province wants to hear from Albertans aged 17 and older on what marijuana legalization should look like in Alberta.

An online survey launched Friday will be open until July 31.

"We want Albertans' input on distribution and sale of cannabis, we want to hear from them about legal age, we want to hear their thoughts on where cannabis consumption can take place and under what conditions," provincial Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Friday.

"Health remains one of our top priorities so we want to hear about health concerns, including exposure to second-hand smoke."

Workplace safety and drug-induced driving are two other topics provincial officials want to hear about from Albertans.

Along with the online survey, officials will also hold a series of roundtable discussions in the coming months, said Ganley.

"We will hold one-on-one, sector specific meetings with employers, unions, youth, health care representatives, addictions and mental health, policing organizations and producers," she said.

"We also want to be conducting surveys at public events around the province, like festivals, throughout the summer months."

Earlier this year, the federal government introduced legislation which would see recreational marijuana legalized in Canada by July 2018.

It will be up to each province to decide on rules around who can use it, when and where — much like how alcohol is regulated now.

Ganley said it will be important for provinces to share information.

"We should be working across [jurisdictions] to look at each other's models," she said. "Obviously that's reliant on people's willingness to share information and I've certainly had some initial conversations with Saskatchewan… because we have some common interests. Certainly there are some people willing to work with us and we're willing to work with them."

Getting a policy framework in place before July 2018 will make for a tight timeline, she said.

"It definitely is an ambitious timeframe. At the end of the day, it's the health and safety of Albertans that's at stake so I think we have to work to meet those timelines even if we do find them a little ambitious," said Ganley.

With files from Julien Lecacheur