With marijuana set to be legal on Oct. 17, CFL will have to decide on response

With Canadians set to be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana as of Oct. 17, the CFL will have to decide what – if anything – it plans to do.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a recent interview with 3DownNation that the league has been waiting for the final version of the legislation, which was delayed after the Senate proposed multiple amendments to the bill which were ultimately dropped.

“It’s something that we have been talking about and thinking about. We are not yet in a position to discuss publicly because there’s still some uncertainty as to what the rules are going to be, what is the full and final content of the law,” Ambrosie said. “There are still are many unanswered questions. When the political process is finally completed, then we can say ‘now we know what the rules are and now we can determine what our response is.

“We’ve been watching it very carefully.”

The CFL does not screen for marijuana as part of its drug testing program, despite the fact that it is classified as a specified substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list. USports, which follows the WADA list more closely, announced on Wednesday that University of Regina Rams linebacker Nick Cross has been stripped of his 2018 USports rookie of the year award after testing positive for marijuana.

Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Duron Carter is facing two marijuana possession charges, including one for pot cookies, but he is not expected to be disciplined by the league or the team regardless of the outcome of his legal proceedings. The league has issued suspensions for other recreational drugs, including versions of ecstasy.

But Carter may benefit from legalization, despite the fact that his arrests came this winter.

In the Commons, New Democrat MP Don Davies attempted to pass a motion calling on the government to immediately pardon Canadians convicted of simple cannabis possession – something that will no longer be a crime as of Oct. 17 – but the motion did not muster the necessary unanimous consent.

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has strongly hinted that pardons are likely but he has resolutely refused to go down that path before the law is changed.

“We recognize that anyone who is currently purchasing marijuana is participating in illegal activity that is funding criminal organizations and street gangs,” he said in January.

“And therefore we do not want to encourage in any way people to engage in that behaviour until the law is changed.”

-with CP files

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