Canada just legalised cannabis for recreational use

Here's The Latest Update On When The Canadian Government Says Marijuana Will Be Legalized featured image

Here's The Latest Update On When The Canadian Government Says Marijuana Will Be Legalized featured image

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the date on Wednesday, after legislation to legalize recreational cannabis use was passed by the Senate Tuesday night.

Trudeau said in Parliament that the government is committed to better protecting Canada's youth and hopes to take money away from organized crime.

Trudeau's Liberal government introduced legislation previous year in a bid to make Canada the second country in the world to legalise cannabis, after Uruguay.

There are still a number of lingering questions, however, surrounding both home-grown marijuana (which some provinces want to ban but Ottawa says it will allow) and drug-impaired driving.

"I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force", Wilson-Raybould told a news conference Wednesday in the foyer of the House of Commons.

"We recognize that anyone who is now purchasing marijuana is participating in illegal activity that is funding criminal organizations and street gangs", he said in January.

The Canadian provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have already chose to ban home-grown pot, even though the federal bill specifies that individuals can grow up to four plants per dwelling.

While production of cannabis is regulated by the federal government, provinces and cities have more powers over retail sales either through private or government-owned stores.

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But Mr Trudeau said it was "illogical" to start talking about amnesty and pardons before the law is changed. "If individuals do not agree with that law then they can challenge that law".

Trudeau said the government won't discuss pardons of past convictions until legalization is in effect.

Trudeau promised to legalize it during the 2015 election and had set a goal of July 1 for it. There will be an election in Quebec on October 1, which helps to explain why the provincial government sought more time.

Canada's regulatory roll out will be closely watched by other countries and by investors, who have already poured billions into Canadian marijuana companies.

Nine U.S. states have legalised it for recreational use and 29 have allowed it for medicinal purposes. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan 1. It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said the provinces will need two to three months after the bill is passed before they'll be ready to implement the new legalized cannabis regime.

It was clear, however, that there are still more questions than answers about what Canada's nascent legal-pot landscape will look like - how police will test motorists, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work. "I tell them, 'No!"

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