Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana

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In other words, somebody crossing from Washington State, where recreational pot is legal, into British Columbia could still be arrested if marijuana is discovered in his or her possession. "We're going to change that".

"As a former police officer, I know first-hand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis", stated Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice. It should be legal by July 2018.

That means the challenge now before the provincial and territorial governments is nothing short of monumental.

"Criminals pocket between $7 and $8 billion in illicit proceeds". OrganiGram Holdings Inc (OGI.V), which has almost doubled, fell 9.7 percent to C$2.80.The market action was likely a "sell the news" reaction as the legislation was largely in line with what an official task force recommended a year ago, said Aaron Salz, founder of Stoic Advisory.

Producing or distributing marijuana outside the government regulation would be considered serious offenses, officials said.

It set the legal age at 18, but said it would be up to each province to decide if it should be higher and also how the drug is distributed and sold.

This announcement by the Liberal government could not come soon enough, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces mounting criticism for dragging his feet on the issue.

Only cannabis grown by a federally licensed producer would be available for sale, though Canadians could grow up to four plants at home.

Under the new rules which will fulfil an election campaign pledge made by the Liberal Party, citizens will be able to carry up to 30 grams of the drug, according to CBC News.

Buying marijuana would be legal for travelers over 18 visiting Canada. Provinces could raise the minimum age of consumption if they choose, the government says.

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CEO Vic Neufeld says the legislation introduced today is a good beginning, but leaves a lot of blanks to be filled, like more explanation as to allowed marketing and related practices. "It's not an absolute guarantee that kids won't get access to it, but it will be far more hard for kids to get access to it when this new regime is in place than it is today".

The prime minister himself hit the headlines for marijuana use when he admitted to smoking the drug while an MP in 2013. Canada legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1999, initially with strict controls, but the law was broadened over time.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale defended the legalization, saying current laws have been "an abject failure" at keeping minors from using marijuana and organized crime from profiting.

The new bill would also enact stiffer penalties where a driver is impaired by both marijuana and alcohol.

Under the new regime, police would use roadside saliva or blood tests to determine a person's drug intoxication.

According to a statement issued by Health Canada, "the movement of cannabis and cannabis products across worldwide borders would remain a serious criminal offence".

"Every sovereign country has the ability at the border to make decisions for themselves", Goodale said.

Now see if United States President Donald Trump doesn't have to build another border wall just to keep people in.

The feds would provide oversight for quality and safety, but distribution will be the responsibility of each of Canada's 13 provinces and territories.