Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana

Apr 14, 2017, 10:46
Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana

To sell, possess, and production of marijuana, they all remain illegal under US federal laws. The penalty depends on whether someone was hurt or killed during the offence.

Police will be able to use saliva tests to help determine if drivers have used pot, cocaine or methamphetamine.

The clubs would be private establishments with no more than three employees and membership rolls where people would have been able to bring their own marijuana as along as no alcohol or food beyond snacks were served.

The new law will expand pot use to non-medicinal purposes, where now Canadian law mandates that such uses are illegal, according to NPR. In provinces that decline to set up a commercial framework, customers could order marijuana online from a federally licensed producer.

"I have to ask myself why this bill wouldn't have been tabled six or 12 months ago", said NDP health critic Don Davies, noting the challenge now before the provinces.

The legislation divides the responsibilities of legalisation between the federal and provincial governments.

Canada's public safety minister Ralph Goodale responded in kind.

That is still the case.

While the government moves to legalize marijuana, retail outlets selling pot for recreational use have already been set up.

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 country's Liberal government on Thursday followed through on a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and introduced legislation aimed at regulating the sale and production of marijuana.

Exporting and importing cannabis will continue to be illegal, he added, noting resources required by the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency will be provided to enforce the law at the border.

Bill Blair, the ex-Toronto police chief turned Liberal MP, said the objective is not to promote the use of pot, but to allow its safe, socially responsible use through the mechanism of legislation and strict regulation.

Now, the "small amount" allowed would mean casual users could possess up to 30 grams at a time.

The federal Liberal government proposes to leave much of the regulation on price control and sales and distribution up to provinces, working with municipalities - as last fall's task force urged.

When that takes effect, Canada would be the first G7 nation to make marijuana legal.

Cheyne is hopeful, whichever government is elected in May, they'll treat pot like they do booze. Health Canada has projected a tamer estimate around $1.3 billion.

If adopted, the proposed law would make Canada the largest federal jurisdiction in the world to legalize cannabis consumption.

Canada prohibited marijuana in 1923.

Eight states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, plus the District of Columbia, have voted to legalize and regulate cannabis for non-medical purposes.

One that dominated the conversation Thursday touched on how the changes could impact the country's relationship with the USA, and what sort of administrative stress Canadians can expect at the border.

"I want to highlight", Goodale said, "that under the proposed act, it will remain illegal to import into Canada or export from Canada, cannabis and cannabis products- unless exceptionally authorized by Health Canada". The Conservative government legislated a mandatory six-month jail term for growing as few as six marijuana plants at home. A criminal record can affect a person's job or travel hopes.