Volteface recently visited Toronto and Ottawa to learn more about the Canadian government’s plans to regulate adult use of cannabis. Alex Brewerton sat down with three of the team that went on the trip to pick their brains about the Canadian model.
From the motives driving the Government, to the man in charge of executing the process successfully (an ex-Toronto police chief), to the slow and steady transition moving from a law enforcement to a public health based approach, it is clear Canada has learned plenty of lessons from its neighbours in the US tacking regulation, and is determined to do things differently. While challenges still remain for Canadian policy makers, like how to tackle the many illegal dispensaries currently operating across the country, how to prevent an increase in drug driving, and how to implement regulation in remote corners of the country, it seems the Canadian model, with its plain packaging and bans of advertising, may be sober enough to catch the eyes of UK policymakers.
George McBride is Head of Advocacy at Volteface. He is a qualified barrister with an interest in criminal justice and drug policy. George is the author of High Stakes: an Inquiry into the Drugs Crisis in English Prisons. He is a regular commentator on Sky News, BBC News, Channel 4 News and writes in the Spectator Coffee House, Huffington Post, Politics.co.uk and many other publications.
Blair Gibbs is a former senior civil servant at the Ministry of Justice (2015-16) who served as Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor (Rt Hon Michael Gove MP) leading on criminal justice reform, offender management and sentencing.
Danny Kruger is Chief Executive of the West London Zone and was Chief Executive of Only Connect from 2005 – 2015. Danny read History at Edinburgh University and received a DPhil in History from Oxford University in 2000. Before working at Only Connect Danny was Director of Studies at the Centre for Policy Studies, Chief Leader-Writer at the Daily Telegraph, and Special Adviser to David Cameron MP as Leader of the Opposition.
Alex Brewerton is a multimedia producer and podcast host