Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana

19 April, 2017, 05:44 | Author: Ora Austin

The South American nation of Uruguay is the only nation to legalize recreational pot. "Existing laws prohibiting possession of cannabis remain in place and they need to be respected", he said. The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) supports the federal government's efforts and urges federal and provincial policy makers not to lose sight of the vital role that Canada's 10,000 pharmacies can play in the safe and secure distribution and dispensing of medical cannabis.

Canada has now become the first Group of 7 (G7) country to proceed with legalizing marijuana, as it made a decision to get rid of the criminal prohibitions that had been in place since 1923 because they have proven to be ineffective.

However, marijuana will remain illegal until the new law is approved and goes into effect. Speakers will include Justice Minister Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Health Minister Jane Philpott. The minimum legal age would be 18, though provinces would be able to raise that.

Producing or distributing marijuana outside the government regulation would be considered serious offenses, officials said.

Sales by mail or courier through a federally licensed producer would be allowed in provinces that lack a regulated retail system.

He stressed that until the legislation is passed, recreational marijuana remains illegal across Canada - a point underscored in recent months by a series of police raids on marijuana dispensaries across the country.

Adults over 18 would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

Canada's proposed law allows four plants to be grown at home.

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"We have legalized marijuana".

The government is pitching the legislation as a way to keep pot out of the hands of minors and undercut organised crime.

Marijuana producers say the federal government's proposed legal-pot regime needs more details to clarify issues like permissible advertising and distribution. "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 ..."

The drug has created new enforcement challenges because there is no legal or verified scientific test to determine a level of THC - the psychoactive chemical in pot - that causes impairment.

"Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities", said Bill Blair, a lawmaker and former Toronto police chief involved in the legislative process for the legalization bill. That will most likely mean Canadians will purchase their cannabis in a combination of ways depending on where they are in the country.

She said: "One in seven youths who have used cannabis will develop an addiction to cannabis and that impacts your life, schooling, job prospects, social and emotional relationships". Moving pot across worldwide borders "would remain a serious criminal offence" under the new law.

Although the government has unveiled plans to legalise recreational marijuana, the rule won't become legal overnight.

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