On Monday, a senior Canadians government official said that citizens will be able to smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018.
Timeframe for the legalization:
During the week of April 10th, legislation to legalize recreational marijuana will be introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, it should become law by July next year according to the official.
This law was a long time promise of Trudeau and it will make Canada the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition of recreational marijuana.
Last year U.S voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada voted to approve the use of recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The only nation to legalize recreational pot in South America is Uruguay.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Justice Minister, didn’t confirm the dates but stated that the government is introducing legislation this spring to “legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.”
The statement said “This will be done in a careful way to keep it out of the hands of children and youth, and to stop criminals from profiting. In order to meet our commitment to legalize, the legislation will need to pass through the parliamentary process in a timely fashion.”
Task force recommendations:
Former Liberal Health Minister Anne McLellan headed a marijuana task force which was in charge of giving advice to the government concerning this matter.
It recommended allowing adults to carry up to 30 grams of pot for recreational purpose and grow up to four plants, as well as taxing higher-potency pot at a higher rate than weaker strains. It said also that recreational marijuana shouldn’t be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco, meaning that alcohol-free cannabis lounges would be allowed.
The panel’s report added that public health experts favor a minimum age of 21 as the brain continues to develop to about 25, but said setting the minimum age too high would keep the illegal market. Canadian youth have higher rates of cannabis use than their peers worldwide.
Trudeau has emphasized that current laws should be respected despite the government moves to legalize marijuana and retail outlets selling pot for recreational use have already been set up. Earlier this month, police in Toronto, Vancouver and other cities raided stores earlier this month and made arrests.