Canada’s Government Introduces Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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The government is now making plans to regulate how marijuana can be marketed.

A suite of legislation introduced Thursday would, once passed, establish a “strict legal framework” for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot, and make it against the law to sell cannabis to youth or use a young person to commit a cannabis-related crime. The government still has to debate the bill and provinces will have to draft their own regulations for sale.

Bringing marijuana products across the border could cause confusion for citizens of both countries: Americans who may cross back into the USA still under the influence, and Canadians who enter the US unwittingly in possession of marijuana. “But definitely, the perspective on it is changing”.

The South American nation of Uruguay is the only nation to legalize recreational pot.

It’s too early to tell how Ontario will proceed with those regulations, however.

The current legislation on the drug is simply not working, the country’s government admitted, as it revealed plans to make the drug legally available.

The proposal, which the party hopes to make law by July of 2018, sets a minimum purchase age of 18, which is one year below the legal drinking age in most Canadian provinces and three years below the minimum age set in US states that have legalized recreational weed.

The legislation left the details of how the drug will be sold up to the provinces. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said a year ago she wouldn’t rule out the sale of marijuana at the popular Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) stores.

The former police chief had chaired the government’s cannabis task force, which laid out a blueprint for legal recreational pot in Canada. However, crossing the border into the United States, where marijuana has only been legalized in eight states, including California and the District of Columbia, could prove challenging for Canadian pot smokers. “Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body”.

Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, said Wednesday he’s a proud Canadian who believes July 1 is a day to celebrate the country’s birth “for that reason and that reason alone”. Others have decriminalized it or effectively stopped enforcing laws against it.

“Consequently, crossing with marijuana is prohibited and could potentially result in fines, apprehension, or both”, according to the agency’s statement.

With an eye on cross-border legal issues, the new law will allow visitors to Canada to consume marijuana.

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“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. “And I let them know- not just yet”.

Marijuana legislation

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