Canada introduces law to decriminalize marijuana

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.

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

“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.

The more than 80 recommendations included maintaining a separate medical marijuana regime, as well as criminal penalties for trafficking and selling cannabis to youth.

The bill also proposes penalties of up to three years in jail, or a fine of $5-million, to anyone who creates cannabis products that are appealing to youth or promotes cannabis products except in specific circumstances.

As it relates to trucking, the Liberal government also explained that for the first time in Canadian law there will be a regulated limit to how much THC can be in a driver's blood while behind the wheel. In 2014, this resulted in more than 22,000 criminal charges.

The bill would add new offenses prohibiting people from driving while they're drunk or impaired by marijuana and other drugs.

"There's no scientific basis for anything like that", Larsen said. Canadian provinces can raise that minimum age higher if they'd like.

The new law actually has two components - to regulate recreational use and sales of the drug, and to beef up impaired driving laws for those driving under the influence of cannabis.

Canada has taken a major step toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

A frontrunner for the leadership of the Tories, Kellie Leitch, meanwhile, said she would repeal the bill and reinstate the ban, if elected. “This piece of legislation puts the Canadian family at risk, ” said Pamela McColl of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada, and anti-legalization group.

Even if he's not allowed to sell it, Panjwani is still optimistic he'll be able to thrive in the recreational marijuana industry.

Since the intention of legalisation is to stop criminalising users the panel chose an age that would not force adults under 25 to turn to the illicit market.

Illegal pot dispensaries have sprouted up in cities across Canada in the last few years, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

"As a former police officer, I know first-hand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis", stated Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice. "More prevention. This isn't a little product that we're talking about", said Charlebois. "Some have already started the dialogue on this issue".

Legalizing marijuana: is the USA next?

The government will allow the citizens to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. The local authorities are responsible for overseeing the retail sale of cannabis. The Globe and Mail wrote that the federal government will need additional staff and resources to "speed up the approval process" for new producers looking to come online.

  • Leroy Wright