Come July 2018. Canada is to fully legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use thanks to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. From the time he came into power, his arguments have always geared towards the legalization, decriminalization and regulation of marijuana and he also admitted to smoking pot.
This move will make Canada the biggest nation to make this liberation possible for its people. In Canada, the stir to legalize marijuana started way back in 2001 with the legalization of medical marijuana. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in Canada but a doctor’s recommendation has always been required for one to use it for its therapeutic properties.
The new shift to recreational legalization has been accompanied with a lot of regulations for the economy of the country. Analysts that the cannabis industry will bring in between C$5bn and C$7bn annually.
Who can use marijuana?
If passed into law, this will give a big pass to the production, sales and possession of cannabis to the adults of age 18 years and above. The law will not leave out visitors as they can as well be eligible to use marijuana either for medical or recreational purposes. In addition to this, the federal government will license the growing of the drug with most of the regulations left to the individual provinces.
In a nutshell, although the federal government is to set 18 years as the age at which adults can use the drug, provinces can choose to take it higher. The limit on the age is majorly aimed at preventing sales and usage of cannabis by minors and hence it prohibits marketing to minors. However, in a scenario where a minor is found in possession of small amounts of cannabis, they are bound to face civil sanctions.
The growing and selling
The Federal government in Canada has since 2001 to date issued licenses to 42 medical marijuana producers. When the law in procession is finally passed, the bigger deal is that the federal government will issue licenses to even recreational cannabis producers (growers).
When it comes to the selling and distribution, it will all depend on the provinces to choose how and when it happens. However, if the province fails to put in place a form of access and selling, the federal government can allow the adult consumers to purchase directly from the federal licensed producers. Those who intend to grow their own marijuana are limited to four plant per household. Furthermore, when the bill is finally passed Canadians will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use.
Critics of the legalization plan
Even with is positive plan about the full legalization of marijuana in Canada, the initiative has divided opinion. The ongoing support for the use of medical marijuana has been present in Canada since 2001 but this new move to legalize marijuana for recreational use has raised a lot of distress. The major concerns are about the use by minors, impaired driving, and public safety, flow of profits to organized crimes and a whole host of other issues.
Research has showed that Canadian youth have higher rates of cannabis use worldwide. The other worry arises from the fact that recreational marijuana still stands illegal in the United States of America just south of the boarder of Canada even with the legalization in eight states Columbia inclusive. Although it will soon be legal in Canada, the people crossing over the US might collide with the law.
With the move to fully legalize marijuana in Canada underway, a huge job lies ahead for the provinces. However, for now recreational marijuana is still illegal in Canada despite the proposed plan to legalize.