Canada to legalise cannabis: Government claims current legislation is not working
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.
Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalise marijuana as a consumer product, following the campaign pledge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The “Cannabis Act” plans, unveiled on Thursday, presents a fresh legal framework to control production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.
Each of Canada’s provinces will need to decide exactly how the drug will be distributed and sold within its boundaries.
Justin Trudeau has unveiled plans to legalise cannabis in Canada
If the proposal receives Royal Assent and Parliamentary approval, the Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force no later than July 2018.
A statement from the Government of Canada said: “The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth.
“In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.”
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The strict rules mean adults could have up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household at a maximum height of one metre at home.
But laws on drinking will be tightened at the same time.
Now, new offences could be added to the Criminal Code under the Government’s proposed legislation – including those for driving under the influence of drugs.
Health minister Jane Philpott said: “The Cannabis Act will help keep our children safe and address the health risks associated with cannabis.
“The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.”
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The Cannabis Act proposes only those over 18 years of age can buy cannabis but provinces and territories could increase it.
The movement of cannabis and cannabis products across international borders would remain a serious criminal offence.
The proposal means after being signed-off, adults will legally be able to possess small amount of the drug, labelled Class B in Britain.
Marijuana set to be legalised in Canada after Cannabis Act proposed – pictured rally for legalisatio
As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis
After being brought in, it will be a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice Bill Blair said: “As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes.
“Today’s plan to legalise, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”