Canada’s Liberal government is reportedly preparing to legalise the use of marijuana for recreational use. Reports from CBC News have claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party next month will announce the plans to permit the use and possession of a certain amount of the psychoactive drug. The legislation has long been in discussion by the Liberal Party, who previously promised to make cannabis more freely available under government control. CBC News claimed that the new law would come into power next year, and Canada’s provincial authorities would have the ability to set prices, as well as raise age restrictions above the minimum 18 years.
A report was released on the topic back in November 2016, led by former Justice Minister Anne McLellan, and recommended that 18 should be the minimum age of purchase together with suggesting that cannabis products should be sold in plain packaging. The report also stated that the government should, “commit to using revenue from cannabis as a source of funding for administration, education, research and enforcement.”
There could also be strict advertising standards put in place for cannabis items, and the report added, “A robust and regulated production, distribution and retail network that meets demands in the domestic market will help curb the illicit market and help identify those who operate outside the legal market.” Regulations would also be put in place that limit personal cultivation of cannabis to four plants per residence, with a maximum size of 100cm/39 inches tall, as outlined in the task force report.
Prime Minister Trudeau made the legalisation of marijuana part of his manifesto, during his run for office, also highlighting that the current laws were not preventing the drug from falling into the wrong hands. He said in 2014, “Our current approach is failing our kids. It’s not protecting them from pot, it’s allowing them to access marijuana easier than they access alcohol or cigarettes. Millions of dollars of the trade are being funnelled into criminal organizations and street gangs.”
The Liberal Party website similarly states that, “The Liberal solution is clear: If we pass smart laws that tax and strictly regulate marijuana, we can better protest our kids, while preventing millions of dollars from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs.”
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