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Pot should be sold in both liquor stores and standalone shops, says UVic prof

Last Updated Jan 3, 2018 at 8:53 am PST

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Ontario has done it. So has Alberta. But we are still waiting for our provincial government to lay out how it plans to regulate the distribution of recreational marijuana once it’s legalized this summer.

The province has already decided that cannabis will be sold at both public and private stores. However, it remains to be seen whether it will be sold in liquor stores.

Dr. Tim Stockwell is the head of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. He says there are arguments both for and against selling weed in liquor stores.

The argument for is that it might encourage heavy drinkers to drink less alcohol and use more pot instead, which he believes is less dangerous.

However, he says selling marijuana in liquor stores could encourage people to use both substances together. “The evidence is, for example with impaired driving, you’re more impaired if you take a little bit of cannabis and a little bit of alcohol than if you added up the individual effects taken seperately”

Stockwell believes people should be able to choose between getting pot at a dispensary or liquor store.

“I personally think there should be a government distribution monopoly and some should be specialized in cannabis and some should have both, so there should be a choice.”

He also thinks there should a fixed price for the amount of THC — the active substance in marijuana — a particular strain of weed has, and there should be no discounts for bulk purchases.

The province says it will unveil its full retail model early this year.