Tracking the proliferation of legal marijuana across Canada is likely to become a top priority amid signs that the Trump administration is considering restarting the so-called War on Drugs by increasing drug arrests and stiffening criminal sentences for drug dealers. In an effort to keep cannabis away from youth and its profits from criminals, it would also set the legal minimum age for purchasing pot at 18, according to federal officials.
Possession will be limited to 30 grams - one ounce - of dried or fresh marijuana.
Now, new offences could be added to the Criminal Code under the Government's proposed legislation - including those for driving under the influence of drugs. "It is weird that it's so extreme".
The new framework would make it illegal to market marijuana products to children, or sell to anyone under 18. The government is also proposing a regulated limit of THC in a driver's bloodstream.
Under the new regime, police would use new roadside saliva or blood tests to determine if a person is intoxicated, a crime punishable by fines or up to 10 years in prison.
"There's no scientific basis for anything like that", Larsen said.
Authorities envision regulating marijuana like alcohol. Along with a "zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence", the plan calls for "robust" public spending on a PSA campaign about the dangers of impaired driving.
"If your objective is to protect public health and safety and keep cannabis out of the hands of minors, and stop the flow of profits to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure", Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said at a news conference.
If Canada is successful in legalising the recreational use of the drug, it will be the G7 country to do so. "But there's been none of that from any province, especially in B.C".
Officials lamented that the current policy of banning marijuana hasn't deterred kids from drug use. In 2015, local polling company Insights West found that 65 percent of Canadians are in favour of recreational legalization.
Larsen predicted that legalization could be damaging to B.C.'s economy if not carried out properly. "I'm not seeing that".
The legislation "seeks to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis, and it will make Canada safer", said Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, on Thursday.
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. "We hope that they implement their regimes as soon as possible".
However, the legalisation will be divided between the federal and provincial governments.
Trudeau said during his campaign that he meant to legalize marijuana, and the government opened up the idea to 60 days of public comment a year ago.