Canada Votes to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use
21 June, 2018, 00:16 | Author: Charlene Valdez
Canada, however, is the first G7 country to legalize recreational use out of the world's top industrialized nations, including the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy.
The Senate voted in the favour of the bill (52-29) from the elected House of Commons.
Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana by mid-September at the latest after the Senate voted Tuesday to lift nearly a century-old prohibition on cannabis.
The federal law fulfills a top campaign promise of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party. According to CBC, the bill - Bill C-45 - comes with a provisional buffer period of eight to 12 weeks to give Canada's provinces enough time to lay the groundwork before the sale of marijuana begins.
Four initial sites were announced earlier this year - in Toronto (south of Victoria Park subway station), Guelph, Kingston, Thunder Bay - and are to open by the end of 2018.
Trudeau said in a tweet: "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits".
The government's companion legislation on impaired driving is also expected to pass soon, said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, but she added that driving under the influence of drugs has always been - and will remain - against the law in Canada.
Although Premier-designate Doug Ford had previously mused that a PC government would privatize pot sales, preferring a free market, he said during a leaders' debate that recreational marijuana would be available at LCBO stores.
"We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition, that's historic". A timeframe has yet to be drawn up, but it thought that Canadian may be able to legally purchase the drug by September. Commercial marijuana production will be licensed by the federal government, while retail distribution of marijuana will be regulated by individual provinces.
It will allow marijuana possession, home growing and sales for adults. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
"Canada should be applauded for taking bold and decisive steps towards ending the failed prohibition of marijuana", Hannah Hetzer, the Senior International Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.
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