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Anne McLellan: 'The world is watching' Canada's marijuana legalization

Former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan said Canada's "journey" towards legalizing, regulating and restricting marijuana "will take time" well beyond passing new legislation.

Working on cannabis legalization task force one of the more complex files of Anne McLellan's career

Anne McLellan: 'The world is watching' Canada's marijuana legalization

5 years ago
Duration 1:38
The former deputy prime minister said Canada's "journey" towards legalizing, regulating and restricting marijuana "will take time" well beyond passing new legislation.

Canada has an important role on the international stage as it slowly moves toward legalizing marijuana, says Anne McLellan, who led the country's task force on cannabis legalization. 

The former deputy prime minister said Canada's "journey" towards legalizing, regulating and restricting marijuana "will take time" well beyond passing new legislation.

Speaking at the University of Windsor's law school Friday, the chairperson of the federal task force held a free public lecture, entitled From Prohibition to Legalization — The Way Forward.

"The regulatory regime that goes with the legalization is very complex and involves all three levels of government," she said. "It's going to require high levels of collaboration and cooperation."

Former Deputy PM Anne McLellan, says the "world is watching" as Canada moves toward legalizing marijuana. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

Working on a nine-member task force and coming up with 80 recommendations became one of the biggest challenges of McLellan's career. 

"It's certainly one of the more complex files that I have worked on," she said before her talk. "People hear legalization, but they forget the government also said regulation and restriction of access, especially to vulnerable populations such as young people."

McLellan highlighted some of the recommendations, saying task force came up with each by using two guiding principles — public health and public safety.

As Canada moves toward legalization, countries around the world that are interested in making similar laws will be paying attention. 

"The world is watching us and we're quite aware of that fact," she said. 

Anne McLellan speaks at UWindsor Law School Friday afternoon. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

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