Liberal MP Bill Blair—formerly known as Toronto's chief of police—has reportedly started a cross-country tour to meet and talk with Canadians about the upcoming legalization of marijuana.
The announcement, which came via the Department of Justice yesterday, says that Blair—along with Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould—will be meeting with Canadians and "various stakeholders" in the cannabis economy to help better understand and formulate the execution of the Trudeau government's long-awaited legalization process.
The statement also notes that one of the main focuses of the government's legalization effort is to keep cannabis "out of the hands of children and the profits out of the hands of criminals"—a fitting statement considering that was pretty much the MO of Blair before he became a politician.
"I look forward to meeting with Canadians from across the country to hear their perspectives on regulating access to legal cannabis. We know that the current system of prohibition through the criminal justice system is not protecting the health and safety of Canadians, especially our young people," a statement on behalf of Blair reads.
"These meetings, along with the work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation and the online consultations, will help inform the development of legislation to be introduced in Parliament this spring."
Blair, who has been at the helm of the government's legalization task force since 2016, has fielded criticism from activists like Marc and Jodie Emery—owners of the dispensary chain Cannabis Culture. Jodie Emery took to Twitter Thursday morning to decry Blair as disingenuous.
"Really @BillBlair? Will you finally talk to me like YOU said you wanted to in Ottawa last year? I've been on front lines for years," Emery wrote, before going on to criticize the government for not decriminalizing cannabis in the lead up to legalization.
"What a warped, twisted message. Ending prohibition means ending criminalization, not waging war on cannabis - that's prohibition!"
Dates and locations for the tour have not been announced yet.
Follow Jake on Twitter.
Lead image via Flickr user Bruce Reeve.