Canada is poised to approve a law legalizing marijuana nationwide

The legislation would make it legal for Canadians who are at least 18 years old to purchase, use and grow limited amounts of recreational marijuana by July 1, 2018.

If approved, legislation would establish new rules letting Canadians legally buy, harvest and have limited amounts of government-controlled marijuana in addition to implementing measures meant to discourage individuals from skirting the proposed restrictions.

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.

"We're very happy that the government has chose to go ahead and give our police officers the power to test for drugs", said Theresa Ann-Kramer of MADD. Canadians will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use while those who sell or give marijuana to minors or who drive under its influence will face stiff penalties.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was asked that question - whether the Liberal government had sought assurances from the USA that someone who admitted to using cannabis legally would not face the same fate.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about today's legislation, such as where marijuana will be sold, how much it will costs, what percentage of the price will be tax and whether people will still opt for under-the-counter marijuana if it is significantly cheaper than the government-sanctioned variety. He was the federal government's point man on the recreational-marijuana file.

People who study drug use and abuse, such as Psychology professor Jean-Sebastien Fallu, said provincial governments have been slow to act. Canada legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1999, initially with strict controls, but the law was broadened over time. But exporting and importing marijuana will remain illegal without a valid permit for special purposes, such as medical marijuana, which is legal in Canada, and industrial hemp.

"The regime we are setting up in Canada will protect our kids better and stop the flow of illegal dollars to organized crime". Provinces could raise the minimum age of consumption if they choose, the government says.

The stated aim is to reduce policing and prosecutions, and keep it out of the hands of children.

The legalization of marijuana in Canada took a major step forward Thursday, and PI analyst Jason Zandberg thinks that is an immediate positive for cannabis stocks.

"They come over all the time and ask me if cannabis is available", Panjwani said. Other than a different age limit, the rules set forth in the plan are similar to those in Colorado, the first state in the U.S.to legalize cannabis in 2012.

"Every sovereign country has the ability at the border to make decisions for themselves", Goodale said.

Packaging: Packaging: The legislation prohibits labels or packages that could be appealing to youth, that set out an endorsement, that contain any deceptive information, or that depict a person, character or animal.

The new law will expand pot use to non-medicinal purposes, where now Canadian law mandates that such uses are illegal, according to NPR.

  • Joanne Flowers