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Canada Has Just Passed a Landmark Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

24 June 2018

This comes shortly after Canadian lawmakers passed the bill to legalize marijuana in the country via a 52-29 vote in the Senate.

"It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits", Trudeau said in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

"The overall message is, 'Yeah, Canada legalized cannabis, hooray, ' but the actual details is where there are a lot of devils", Emery said, "The civil liberties advocates, the lawyers, the people who represent the marginalized Indigenous, the youth, the poor - the victims of prohibition - we aren't celebrating today".

Implementation could take eight to 12 weeks following Royal Assent, meaning Canadians will be able to legally purchase cannabis by September at the earliest.

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The government plans to tax legal cannabis at either 1/10 of a product's price or $1 per gram, whichever is higher, plus provincial and federal sales taxes.

"This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis", Wilson-Raybould said via Twitter Tuesday night.

Concerns expressed about the bill by members of Parliament include how to keep marijuana away from children and how to address organized crime and traffic deaths related to marijuana use. Consumers are expected to buy marijuana from "retailers regulated by provinces, territories or - when neither of those options are available - federally licensed producers".

Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who sponsored the legislation, called the bill's passage a "historic milestone".

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In the USA, nine states have legalized recreational marijuana.

Canada, however, is the first G7 country to legalize recreational use out of the world's top industrialized nations, including the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy.

The adoption in the Senate of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, means that a legal, multibillion-dollar industry is set to appear in Canada, which will join Uruguay as one of the few countries where cannabis is legal nationwide. "I know that some of these frustrations are rooted in deeply held policy views and personal values and that much disagreement will not end with our vote on this message, whatever its result". It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors.

According to a report published by Deloitte, almost two-thirds of current cannabis consumers are likely to transition to legal channels and pay more for product post-legalization.

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The Associated Press reports that Canadians will be legally allowed to purchase marijuana online and receive it through the mail, which is illegal in the US even in states where recreational use is legal.

Canada Has Just Passed a Landmark Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana