Canada Passes Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use
20 June, 2018, 09:43 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
The leg had been tossed back and forth between the House and the Senate over a series of amendments, including an attempt to allow provinces to ban home growing, although that had failed.Quebec and Manitoba had already chose to ban home cultivation despite the fact the federal bill says Canadians may grow up to four plants per dwelling.
The Senate's amendment was meant to avoid legal challenges of the provinces' constitutional authority to prohibit home cultivation.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted that it was a "historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis". Peter Harder, the Government Representative in the Senate, that would accept the government's position on the Senate's amendments and pass the bill as is.
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It grants the federal government the power to license and regulate a restricted group of cannabis growers, but leaves it largely up to the discretion of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories to decide how to sell and distribute the drug.
Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said that he expects the government to rake in almost 300 million Canadian dollars from the taxes on legalized cannabis. That timeline was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review Bill C-45.
In particular, he applauded Indigenous senators for raising concerns about the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities.
The Senate's approval in a vote in Ottawa clears the way for the final step - a ceremonial signing - to officially make the bill law.
Based on consumption data from past year, Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion (€3.7 billion).
Canada is the first industrialized country to legalize cannabis nationwide. It sets out parameters around the production, possession, safety standards, distribution, and sale of marijuana.
The bill lifts a 95-year-old ban on recreational marijuana, though regulated medical marijuana has been legal in the country for almost two decades.
Provincial governments can also establish stricter rules like limiting home growth. Now the penalty for possession of the drug is five years in jail and for supplying it 14 years.
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