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We Now Know What Date Marijuana Will Be Legal In Canada

24 June 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that legalization will begin on October 17.

"The provinces have asked us for more time than they originally thought they would need in order to get the implementation right and I think we all agree it's important to get this right and not rushed", the prime minister told a news conference wrapping up the spring sitting of Parliament.

"Over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or nearly completely replace the organised crime market on that", he told a news conference.

It was a few weeks ago that the Senate initially passed Bill C-45, but it came with dozens of changes, and those modifications needed to be approved by the House of Commons as well.

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Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana by mid-September at the latest after the Senate voted Tuesday to lift nearly a century-old prohibition on cannabis.

Canada is the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, paving the way for recreational sales throughout the country. As detailed in a recent DPA report, From Prohibition to Progress: A Status Report on Marijuana Legalization, the evidence so far shows that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled US states to successfully set safety standards, restrict youth access, and enact regulations that limit the potential harms of marijuana use. Those caught selling marijuana to a minor could face stiff penalties of up to 14 years in jail. The law will not take effect until it receives royal assent - a final ceremonial stage of the legislative process - and the government sets a date for legalization. Today, we change that. Each adult can grow up to four cannabis plants at home, although the household limit is also four, so roommates and spouses can't all grow together.

The federal law makes the sale and recreational use legal, but how it will be sold is up to provincial governments.

Medicinal use of the drug has been legal in Canada since 2001.

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The Senate agreed to pass the bill as-is and not insist on its amendments.

Canadian Senator Tony Dean stated to reporters yesterday, "It ends 90 years of needless criminalisation, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health and community health in favour of just-say-no approaches that simply failed young people miserably".

Depending on the province, the legal age of consumption of the drug will either be 18 or 19. Trudeau's government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September. By comparison, the minimum consumption age for marijuana in all the US states that have legalized recreational use is 21, corresponding to the higher drinking age.

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We Now Know What Date Marijuana Will Be Legal In Canada