Canada Moves To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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The minimum legal age would be 18, though provinces would be able to raise that.Only cannabis grown by a federally licensed producer will be available for sale, though Canadians could grow up to four plants at home.

Blair said at the news conference in Ottawa that "criminal prohibition has failed" and that 21 percent of youth, and 30 percent of young adults, use cannabis in Canada.

The federal government's proposed legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes includes a thorough overhaul of Canada's impaired driving laws, toughening up the system not only for drivers who are impaired by marijuana but also by alcohol.

"The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business", Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.

Distribution: Under the legislation, the federal government says provinces and territories will authorize and oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis.

That means the challenge now before the provincial and territorial governments is nothing short of monumental.

“With legalization in a growing number of our own states and now an entire major neighboring country ending prohibition, its going to be increasingly hard for drug warriors in the Trump administration to meaningfully roll back our gains, ” said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. Canada legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1999, initially with strict controls, but the law was broadened over time.

"The current approach to cannabis does not work".

"While the Canadian government is moving in the direction of legalization and regulation, the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem more intent on reviving outdated and erroneous Drug War rhetoric than allowing science and facts to dictate public policy", Altieri said in a statement.

The new bill outlines that it will be illegal to drive within two hours of having an illegal level of drugs in the blood.

But it won't mean much to the thousands of Canadians going to Arizona every year except for the possibility of slightly more hassle at the global border by suspicious customs officers, he said.

It makes Canada "the largest federal jurisdiction in the world to legalize cannabis consumption", according to The Toronto Star. In 2015, local polling company Insights West found that 65 percent of Canadians are in favour of recreational legalization.

Cam Battley, executive-vice president with Aurora Cannabis Inc., said he fully supports the government's stance on not promoting marijuana to young people, though he also expects the restrictions outlined Thursday to change over time.

But the federal task force recommended marijuana not be sold with alcohol.

The provinces also have to figure how they will regulate distribution. This makes it hard, if not impossible, for state-legal marijuana businesses to use the banking system, receive tax breaks, and otherwise operate without fear of federal interference.

"It is important to note that as the bill moves through the legislative process, existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place and they need to be respected", Goodale said Thursday. "It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth and stop criminals from profiting from it".

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