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BC Liberals promise to use pot revenue for addictions treatment

Last Updated Jun 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm PST

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Summary

Clark says her party will use money from the legalization of pot and invest it in BC's health care

Parents push for change after losing their children to the opioid overdose crisis

DELTA (NEWS 1130) – The fentanyl crisis is making its way back into the election campaign today.

The BC Liberal Party is promising to set aside all future marijuana revenue to provide help for those addicted to opioids and other drugs. This follows a call from a group of parents whose children have died during the ongoing overdose crisis that has killed hundreds of people across the province.

There wasn’t much hesitation from Leader Christy Clark when NEWS 1130 asked her about the parents’ plea at a campaign stop in Delta. “I also commit that we are going to take every penny of revenue that we get from the sale of marijuana and we are going to put it into drug education for kids, we’re going to put into law enforcement to stop the spread of drugs in our society and we’re going to put it into health care to support people who are addicted.”

This group of parents is asking all parties to endorse this approach.

It’s unclear how much cash the legalization of recreational marijuana will generate for BC or the country.

Earlier this year, the parliamentary budget officer says sales tax revenue could be about $618 million in 2018, or even as high as $959 million depending on tax rates and that’s based on projections that legalized pot will cost $9 per gram. The parliamentary budget officer is also projecting 4.6 million Canadians will consume pot in the first year it is legalized, rising to 5.2 million by 2021.

A couple of weeks ago, Ottawa tabled legislation to legalize pot by next summer.