Liberals make good on plan to legalize pot

Liberal pot bill finally seeing light of day; provinces bracing for impact

Shares of marijuana-related companies sold off Thursday amid industry uncertainty in the wake of the release of the federal government's legislation aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana. People over 18 would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of weed.

"We know that criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities", said parliamentary secretary Bill Blair. "If there appears to be a pattern of examination at the border that just does not accord with appropriate, professional, reliable, consistent conduct, then obviously that's the sort of thing that we should raise at a governmental level to make sure people are treated appropriately".

Another outlines rules for enforcing the proposed pot law, and includes provisions that could put convicted marijuana criminals in prison for up to 14 years.

The Canadian government would create a system to regulate marijuana production, distribution and sale.

On that note, there are now 42 companies that have been authorized by Health Canada to produce medicinal marijuana across the country.

"While the Canadian government is moving in the direction of legalization and regulation, the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem more intent on reviving outdated and erroneous Drug War rhetoric than allowing science and facts to dictate public policy", Altieri said in a statement.

While medical marijuana is already legal in Canada, consulting firm Deloitte has estimated annual sales of recreational marijuana could be as high as $6.5 billion.

It's nothing short of a sea change in public policy, one with profound implications for everything from Canadian culture and health to border security, road safety and even worldwide relations: legalizing marijuana.

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This file photo taken on April 20, 2016 shows a woman waving a flag with a marijuana leaf on it next to a group gathered to celebrate National Marijuana Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. "There are billions upon billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of organized crime, street gangs, and gunrunners. if we can get that out of the criminal elements and into a more regulated fashion, we will reduce the amount of criminal activity that's profiting from those".

The government plans to have a legalized-pot system in place by July 2018, said Blair.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001 and is grown by 42 federally licensed producers.

"We don't really have a way of monitoring or at least of detecting people who are driving on the roads who may be impaired by marijuana", said Gordon Wyant, justice minister of the Canadian province Saskatchewan. The bill does say, however, that it would be against the law to sell cannabis in a package, or with a label, that could be interpreted as being appealing to children and youth.

"Canada's federal government set the age at 18, but is allowing each of the provinces to determine if it should be higher".

The provinces also have to figure how they will regulate distribution.

"Each country establishes its own rules", Goodale said. 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.

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