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BC making first decisions on cannabis regulation.
 
Following months of public engagement, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced several key decisions today related to the anticipated legalization of non-medical cannabis next July.
 
The minimum age to possess, or consume will be 19.
 
Also, like other provinces BC will have a government-run wholesale distribution model, and there will be both public and private retail opportunities.
 
"Looking at the responses received, it's clear that British Columbians support the priorities of protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe, which will guide the Province in developing BC's regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis." 
 
The Province received input from 48,951 British Columbians, and submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments and a range of other interested stakeholders during the public engagement period from Sept 25th the Nov 1st.
 
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Merritt RCMP acknowledging responsible holiday partyers.
 
Despite several Christmas parties being held in Merritt over the weekend, Cst Tracy Dunsmore says officers didn't come across anyone driving intoxicated.
 
"I know there was quite a few parties this past weekend. The City of Merritt had theirs, emergency services and ministry of forests to name a few others. And, we did not have a any impaired driving charge. People are arranging for away home, and choosing not to get behind the wheel, so, so far, so good."
 
Dunsmore says keeping impaired drivers off the road remains a priority for the Merritt RCMP detachment over the holidays.
 
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Security camera stolen from outside Community Policing Office in Merritt.
 
Merritt RCMP Cst Tracy Dunsmore says the camera taken overnight was recently placed outside their offices on Granite Ave, after issues with vermin.
 
"We have the cameras throughout the inside of our building. This was just a temporary camera we put out to catch our critter that has been digging beside the building. It's not really worth much on its own. Really, you need to have the whole setup to make it work.
 
Dunsmore says the security camera is a Q-See indoor/outdoor camera, and is white in colour.
 
Anyone with information on its whereabouts is asked to contact Merritt RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
 
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First court appearance for a Merritt RCMP officer charged with assault.
 
Sgt Norm Fleming is scheduled in appear at the Merritt Courthouse today, after being charged with assault, following an incident at the Merritt RCMP detachment back on May 15th.
 
S/Sgt Sheila White does confirm Fleming remains on active duty, but can't say anything about the incident in question. 
 
"It's an allegation. The facts will play out during the court process. And, we will deal with it as it comes."
 
According to the BC Prosecution Service, the charge against Fleming was approved by an experienced Crown Counsel, located in a different area of the province.
 
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Officials gathering to map out emergency search responsibilities for Coquihalla corridor heading into winter.
 
Nicola Valley Search and Rescue Association manager Lynn Broekhuizen says the responsibilities generally remain the same year after year, but gathering annually to make sure the RCMP, Emergency Management BC and area search and rescue organizations are on the same page remains crucial.
 
"We'll be looking at each others resources, establishing who can provide mutual aid, and which areas and the circumstances that relate to that. For example last winter, we had a group of snowmobilers stuck within Hope's boundary, but the Coquihalla was closed northbound, so we were called into action."
 
Broekhuizen says avalanche technicians will also be present at today's meeting in Hope.
 
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