Canada Has Just Passed a Landmark Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

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The Canadian government had initially planned for retail sales to begin by Canada Day (July 1st, 2018) but was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review the Bill. Canopy Growth's manager Adam Greenblatt, for instance, says, "In five years time people will be drinking cannabis drinks at a cocktail party as if drinking good wine".

In the USA, nine states have legalized recreational marijuana. Each province is implementing different aspects of the bill in the next 8 to 12 weeks - while the federal government has jurisdiction over parts like illegal sales to minors and assigning licenses to growers, it's up to the provinces to manage retail sales and distribution laws. But there have been previous suggestions that the White House may try and stem the recreational use by enforcing federal laws to override individual states.

Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister, said discussions for pardons of past convictions "can't take place" until legalization is in effect.

California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on January 1. Those 18 and older in Canada will be allowed to have as much as 30 grams of dried Cannabis in public, share as much as 30 grams of cannabis with other adults and cultivate as many as four home plants per household. But most provinces have raised the minimum age to 19, often in accordance with the legal drinking age.

"Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol, and Canada is about to start treating it that way". The council says the USA can not be considered a safe country for refugees in light of the "disturbing" events at the US border.

Speaking today, Trudeau said: "We have been talking about this since well before we formed government".

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"A fearless move on the part of the government", he told CBC.

Trudeau's Liberal government introduced legislation a year ago in a bid to make Canada the second country in the world to legalise cannabis, after Uruguay. "Our plan to legalise and regulate marijuana just passed the Senate".

However there was some resistance by health experts anxious that the low age of 18 would encourage use of a substance that can have long-term consequences on still-maturing brains.

"We're going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporation", Conservative Sen.

"Canada should be applauded for taking bold and decisive steps towards ending the failed prohibition of marijuana", Hannah Hetzer, the senior global policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.