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OTTAWA — Alberta’s premier says she’s worried that marijuana legalization could drive up policing and court bills her province cannot afford to pay.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Rachel Notley warns the justice system is already stretched, and enforcing new pot−related laws could make things worse.

Notley says she was surprised by the federal proposal to levy an excise tax on recreational marijuana once it becomes legal next July, with the provinces and territories receiving just half the revenue.

Alberta and other provinces have already expressed displeasure about the sharing plan, saying they should get the bulk of the revenues to cover their costs.

The Trudeau government has earmarked just over $274 million to support policing and border efforts associated with legalized pot, with some of the money to be made available to the provinces.

The federal government says legalizing recreational use will help keep marijuana out of the hands of young people while denying profits to criminal organizations.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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