Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced his plan for nationwide marijuana legalization. Should the legislation pass, the law would go into effect by July 2018.
Trudeau’s plan would allow adults ages 18 and older to buy and grow small amounts of marijuana, reports CTV News Canada. Selling to minors would result in serious criminal charges with sentences up to 14 years. Trudeau says that the framework of the program will include strict regulations for all aspects of the industry.
Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale said, “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.”
He continued by saying, “Police forces spend between $2 billion and $3 billion every year trying to deal with cannabis, and yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world… we simply have to do better.”
Under the new law, adults ages 18 and older would be permitted to possess up to 30 grams of dry flower in public. Sharing up to 30-grams would also be allowed between adults. Regulated retailers would be permitted to sell dry flower and marijuana oil products. Adults ages 18 and older would also be permitted to grow up to 4 plants at home for personal use.
Edibles will be permitted, but not right away. Trudeau wants the implementation of the law and the retail side of things to be established before introducing edibles to the market.
Liberal MP Bill Blair said, “We have a responsibility to act as expeditiously as we can… we can’t drag our feet; we aspire to get this done as quickly as possible.”
It would still be illegal to import or export marijuana without legal permits. Strict packaging and labeling laws will be in place to reduce the appeal of the products to the youth.
Canada will have a zero-tolerance approach to stoned driving. The administration will set strict intoxication limits and guidelines for retail shops to operate under. Provinces will have control over regulating the industry in their territories regarding licensing, distributing and selling.
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