This new bill would legalize weed in Canada
The Cannabis Act proposes only those over 18 years of age can buy cannabis but provinces and territories could increase it.
They would also be permitted to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, as well as make legal cannabis-containing products at home. Other products, such as cannabis-infused edibles like cookies, lollipops or honey would remain out of reach until the federal government develops and implements regulations for their production and sale.
The measure would legalize possession of up to 30 grams of certain marijuana products and place harsher penalties on selling pot to minors and for driving under the influence.
“The law as it stands today has been an abject failure”, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, noting that Canadian teens are among the world’s biggest users of cannabis, which they now buy from illicit sources.
Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister, said officials learned from the experiences from other jurisdictions like Colorado and Washington state.
Officials said Canadians should be able to smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018.
Mayor Greg Dionne said the city has been preparing for the move, but he points out that there’s still a long way to go before council will need to craft its own policy.
There is a widespread feeling in Canada’s judicial system that people can get out of a charge of impaired driving with the help of high-priced lawyers who often take advantage of a number of court decisions that have weakened the law over the years.
The South American nation of Uruguay is the only nation to legalize recreational pot.
A federal government task force, which has been investigating the issue since being set up in 2016, investigated other part of the world where the sale of cannabis is legal, including the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington, as well as Uruguay.
New penalties would range from a simple police citation to 14 years behind bars. Ottawa, however, will control who is allowed to produce marijuana under the proposed Cannabis Act.
Since the 2015 election campaign, the Liberals have couched their push to legalize pot in a counterintuitive message: that it is the single best way to keep the drug out of the hands of impressionable and still-developing children. Individuals would be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of recreational pot, similar to the one-ounce standard set in several US states with legal marijuana laws in effect, while households would be allowed to grow up to four plants.
It would allow police to test people’s saliva if they think a driver has been using marijuana.