Today the federal government made their long-awaited announcement about marijuana legalization in Canada, so we finally now have some more details, although some things will remain unclear for a bit. Here’s a recap of what we learned today:
- Adults 18 and older (though provinces will set their own age minimums, it will be at least 18) will be able to legally buy and cultivate small amounts of marijuana. This means adults can possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent, share up to 30 grams dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.
- Adults will be permitted to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, as well as make legal cannabis-containing products at home.
- Selling marijuana to a minor will be a serious criminal offence under this new regime. New penalties would range from police citations to 14 years behind bars, all part of a “strict legal framework” being put in place to protect youth.
- The government intends to bring other products like edibles into the legalized sphere once regulations for production and sale are developed and enforced.
- The plan is to have the legalized marijuana systems in place by late June 2018.
- It will remain illegal to import cannabis and cannabis products and to export them without a valid permit. Permits may be issued for certain purposes, such as medical cannabis and industrial hemp.
- Provinces, territories and cities would be able to tailor rules for their own jurisdictions.
- Canada will be the first member of the G7 to legalize marijuana for recreational use across the country.
It would also be against the law to sell cannabis in a package or with a label that could be construed as appealing to young people, to include testimonials or endorsements, or to depict a person, character or animal. The government also aims to establish “significant penalties” for those who engage young Canadians in “cannabis-related offences” and a “zero-tolerance approach” to drug-impaired driving, along with a “robust” public awareness campaign. [Global Calgary]
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