June 21, 2018
Following a 52-29 vote in Canada’s Senate in favor of The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) on June 19, America’s neighbor to the north will become the second country in the world—and the first G7 nation—to legalize marijuana this coming September. The first nation to do so was Uruguay, which decriminalized marijuana production, sales and consumption in December 2014, according to a report by CNN.
The move—promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the run-up to his election—was supported by nearly 70% of the Canadian population, based on findings of a CTV poll conducted back in 2016. A more recent Nanos survey established that 43% of Canadians fully supported legalization, while 26% “somewhat’ supported the idea; and only 26% opposed decriminalization.
On Twitter, Trudeau said he was happy with the legislative vote, noting, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana—and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept”
Indeed, the bill set a floor on the minimum age of the consumer at 18 years—and makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors. Canadian adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public, the bill specifies. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants at home and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.
However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana, CNN reports. Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or—when neither of those options are available—federally licensed producers. Marijuana also will not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
The Canadian government also has implemented changes to its impaired driving laws, to address repercussions is estimated to surge as high as 58%, especially as users are expected to be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug
Research contact: @bani_sapra