Trudeau's government moves to legalize marijuana in Canada
Trudeau's government moves to legalize marijuana in Canada
15 Abril, 2017, 22:02
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government introduced legislation Thursday to let adult possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in public - a measure that would make Canada the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on recreational marijuana.
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.
Parliamentary Secretary and MP Bill Blair said during the news conference that there has been an overwhelming consensus from provinces and territories for a new and regulated regime.
It remains to be seen if criminal organizations can break into the recreational marijuana market that will be created by the new government legislation.
The federal law will also enact substantial penalties for those who sell to children, including up to 14 years in prison for giving or selling cannabis to youth, or using a youth to commit cannabis-related offences (such as drug dealing).
They would allow individuals to grow up to four plants at home for personal use.
Police forces spend between two and three billion dollars every year trying to deal with cannabis, yet Canadian teens are among the heaviest users in the Western world, said Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodell.
People who study drug use and abuse, such as Psychology professor Jean-Sebastien Fallu, said provincial governments have been slow to act.
Indeed, Canada's decision to legalize marijuana recreationally certainly sets the framework for other countries around the world following suite. 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.
Illegal pot dispensaries have sprouted up in cities across Canada in the last few years, especially in Vancouver and Toronto. The bill does say, however, that it would be against the law to sell cannabis in a package, or with a label, that could be interpreted as being appealing to children and youth.
Each province will be free to design its own system to regulate the sale of marijuana, and to increase the age limit for sale, purchase and consumption of the drug. "Our system will actually be the better one", Goodale said.
She said that overall, Ottawa's plan is short on details, among them: who is going to pay to train police officers. Trudeau has emphasized current laws should be respected.
Legal marijuana in Canada, one of the U.S.s strongest allies, could be a game-changer for domestic marijuana policy discussions in the states.
In the United States, seven states allow recreational use of marijuana.
The legislation would prohibit marketing aimed at young people and would ban sale of cannabis products in vending machines and self-service displays but detailed packaging rules will only be decided after a series of consultations with industry and the public.
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