HALIFAX, N.S. – Those behind major sports in Atlantic Canada don’t want to be caught unprepared when marijuana is legalized later this month.
Those under 19 who violate the new rules associated with legalization can face any of several potential legal punishments depending on the circumstances and their age.
The QWMJHL, the region’s largest and most popular league, is making a push to get ready for the new laws. The players are almost all teenagers and the fan base is dominated by youngsters.
With Maritimes teams in Sydney, Halifax, Acadie-Bathurst, Moncton, Saint John and Charlottetown, steps are being taken to expose young fans and players in all those markets to QMJHL marijuana information programs.
“The Mooseheads and the entire Canadian Hockey League have formed a partnership with Health Canada and will be rolling out an awareness campaign on our social media channels throughout the season,” said Scott MacIntosh, Halifax Mooseheads manager of media relations and communications, of his team’s plans.
“#FocusedOn will be a series of videos that the Mooseheads and other teams collaborate on, to engage our athletes, along with parents and children, in discussion to help youth understand the facts surrounding the use of marijuana and to encourage them to make positive and healthy life choices.”
The Mooseheads will also work with local billet families who provide winter homes for their players.
“Our franchise takes pride in being a positive influence in our community and especially with young children, so we plan to take the proper steps to make sure that continues,” MacIntosh said.
The NBL, which has six teams in the Atlantic Provinces, starts its regular season in mid-November. It, too, is talking about how to handle the various aspects of the marijuana issue.
Deputy-commissioner Audley Stephenson said the NBL, staffed with adult professional players, is aware of the need to have a policy in place.