Marijuana will become legal in Canada on October 17, Trudeau says

Bill Blair

Both houses of parliament voted this week to legalise the drug for recreational use, making Canada the first G7 country to do so and the second in the world following Uruguay.

The federal law fulfills a top campaign promise of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party.

"It is our hope that as of October 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces, with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces, that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion".

"The legislation is transformative", said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, adding it "marks a wholesale shift in how our country approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of prohibition".

"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.

Osborne says everyone is learning when it comes to legalized cannabis, including government, and he's working to put the best policies forward for the benefit of the province.

Finance Minister Tom Osborne says government is ready to adapt to whatever Ottawa puts into action, and although government doesn't have all the answers, it will remain flexible to deal with a new industry.

People will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis at a time in the province, will have the right to grow up to four marijuana plants in their homes, and will be allowed to share cannabis with one another.

"Provinces can set their own laws".

Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut have already chose to ban home-grown weed, despite the fact that the new federal law stipulates that individuals may grow up to four plants per dwelling.

"Until the actual coming into force date happens and the law has changed, there's no point looking at pardons while the old law is on the books", Trudeau told reporters.

Trudeau said they are going to treat it like wine and tobacco, noting that few people will cultivate it at home, but it's necessary to fight organized crime. The provinces pleaded for more time.

Canadian lawmakers approved landmark legislation on Tuesday to fully legalize marijuana. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on January 1. That is lower than in US states that have embraced legalization.

Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said.

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released on Tuesday showed that more than half of Canadian employers are concerned about the potential use of marijuana in the workplace.

"I am confident that at the beginning we're going to take a significant part of the market share right now occupied nearly entirely by organized crime", Trudeau told reporters. Leo Housakos said. "When you normalize the use of marijuana and you're a young person and you had certain reservations because of the simple fact that it was illegal, there's, I believe, a propensity to have somebody be more inclined to use it".

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