Government unveils proposed marijuana legislation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government introduced legislation Thursday to let adult possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in public - a measure that would make Canada the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on recreational marijuana.

On Thursday, the Liberal government tabled two bills created to end more than 90 years of prohibition. Selling cannabis to minors would be illegal, subjecting dealers to a 14-year sentence.

On April 13, the Canadian federal government finally announced its much anticipated bill to legalize recreational use of cannabis by July 2018.

"As a former police officer, I know first-hand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis", stated Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice. "We have a responsibility to act as expeditiously as we can".

A statement from the Government of Canada said: "The current approach to cannabis does not work".

With some of those key elements still need to be worked out, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the move to legalize marijuana will be done expeditiously but carefully.

In the US, meanwhile, lawmakers introduced bicameral legislation this month aimed at reining in Washington's own pot prohibition.

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The minimum age for recreational use of marijuana has been set at 18, but provinces can decide to set a higher minimum age, as some now do in the case of alcohol. "And that focus enables us to avoid numerous pitfalls that other jurisdictions have experienced, where the focus was primarily on maximizing revenue". Please support our efforts.

If all this sound like a hassle and you just want to stay home, you could grow your own pot - each household will be allowed up to four plants, not to be taller than one metre in height.

Canada has taken a major step toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Packaging would not be allowed to appeal to youth, include endorsements, or associate cannabis with a certain "way of life", according to the legislation.

Trudeau's proposal - expanding on medical marijuana, which is already legal in Canada - is expected to spur merger activity and insiders at Canopy and Aurora are already taking profits.

"The Liberals said their intent is to restrict and limit access to marijuana and introduce tougher penalties, to not normalize the use of it and not promote it with any packaging or advertising", said Jodie Emery, a long-time advocate for legalization. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”. However, crossing the border into the United States, where marijuana has only been legalized in eight states, including California and the District of Columbia, could prove challenging for Canadian pot smokers. "Police forces spend between $2bn and $3bn every year trying to deal with cannabis, and yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world". "There's an opportunity to eliminate the black market, so we need to be very careful". Those who are under the influence of marijuana, he said, are still drastically less impaired than they would be under the effect of legal quantities of alcohol.

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