Here's what legalizing weed in Canada would mean

Kathleen Mckinney
April 25, 2017

The government will allow the citizens to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use.

Although recreational marijuana use has been legalized in some US states, including Colorado and Washington, Canada would be the first Group of Seven country to legalize it nationally.

Although recreational marijuana use has been legalised in some U.S. states, including Colorado and Washington, the legislation puts Canada on track to be the first Group of Seven country to legalise it nationally. Voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voted previous year to approve recreational use, joining Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

While the bill removes punishments for use and possession of pot, it does not establish a nationwide regulatory system to sell marijuana commercially. A household may grow up to four marijuana plants, but the primary supply will be through commercial growers, closely regulated by the authorities. Persons younger than 18 found with small amounts of marijuana would not face criminal charges, USA Today reported.

Despite recreational marijuana's all but certain future status as legal, Blair said "pot pardons" are not under consideration.

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

Unlike in the United States, the age limit to purchase marijuana in Canada will be 18. Cannabis dispensaries have already opened in many cities across Canada catering to the medical marijuana trade but pharmacies are also interested in getting part of the business. The New Democrats have called for its immediate decriminalization in order to end drug prosecutions they say are causing undue harm and wasting police resources.

The current legal prohibitions have been an "abject failure" at keeping the children from getting a hold of marijuana, says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. This also means significant policy changes for Canadian public health and safety. "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. We are pleased to see the government moving towards laws that better reflect our society".

It noted that in the handful of USA states where recreational marijuana use is legal, the minimum age was set at 21, in line with alcohol consumption.

If authorized as planned, proponents say the bill will be a blessing for the almost one-third of young adults in Canada who admit smoking weed and subsequently risk arrest in the face the federal government's current prohibition.

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".

Rob Pederson, a Realtor from Saskatchewan with the travel-advice company Canada to Arizona, said he believes the proposed laws could help his country and redirect drug profits into legal avenues.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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