Canada Set For Legal Cannabis

Canada is ready to become the next country in the world to legalize cannabis nationwide, and is the first one in the G7 to proceed with such a bold move. In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country to enact full marijuana legalization in recent times though retail sales did not begin until July 2017.

Bill C-45, or the Cannabis Act, was approved by the Senate with a 52 to 29 vote on Tuesday. The final step, formal approval from the Governor General called Royal Assent is expected to take place as early as Wednesday.

“I’m feeling just great,” Ontario Senator Tony Dean told CBS. “We’ve just witnessed a historic vote for Canada. The end of ninety years of prohibition, transformative social policy. I think, a brave move on the part of the government.”

Under the new law, anyone 18 years and older will be able to grow, keep, buy, and consume cannabis though some provinces are expected to raise the legal age for recreational marijuana to 19 as some do with alcohol.

“We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends ninety years of prohibition,” said Senator Tony Dean. “It ends ninety years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health, and community health approaches in favor of just say no approaches that simply failed our young people miserably.”

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the date when legal sales can commence is set for October 17 as provinces and territories will need time to write their own rules for recreational marijuana.

The Canadian government had originally intended to implement adult-use cannabis in the country by July, but the Senate requested more time to review the bill and the rollout was pushed back.