Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Marijuana Legalization Set for October 17, Trudeau says

Marijuana Legalization Set for October 17, Trudeau says

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet announced that the recreational use of cannabis will be legal as of October 17, 2018.

He said the government delayed the timetable for lifting the nearly century-old prohibition on marijuana at the request of three of the larger provinces, including Quebec, which asked for more time to make the transition to a legal regime for regulating the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.

Although the proclamation date was originally projected to be in September, Trudeau said that the extra month was requested by some of the "big" provinces - particularly Quebec to ensure that regulations are in place by the time Canadians can legally light up.

Uruguay became the first country to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use in December 2013 while nine USA states and the District of Columbia also allow recreational marijuana use.

The parliament last night gave the final passage to a law, which will make Canada the second country in the world to legalise the mind-bending drug.

Under Canada's Cannabis Act, provinces are granted a grace period of 8-12 weeks to get properly set up for the legal distribution of Marijuana.

BBC News reports that Canadians will most likely be able to buy cannabis and cannabis oil grown by licensed producers at various retail locations.

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"I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force", Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told a news conference Wednesday in the foyer of the House of Commons.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale warned that driving while under the influence of cannabis or other drugs - or taking cannabis into or out of Canada - will remain illegal.

"It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits", the prime minister said in a Twitter message posted after the vote. "Our plan to legalize and regulate marijuana just passed the Senate", he said.

Canada, finally, is catching up with Washington state.

"And therefore we do not want to encourage in any way people to engage in that behaviour until the law is changed".

"This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada", she tweeted.

"The impact is we're going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporations and making a lot of money and they're going to be doing it at the expense of vulnerable people in this country", said Conservative Sen. It is expected to take effect sometime near the end of Summer. It has been estimated that the legal sale of the drug could eventually be worth up to C$7 billion annually. By comparison, the minimum consumption age for marijuana in all the USA states that have legalized recreational use is 21, corresponding to the higher drinking age.

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