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Canada votes to legalize recreational marijuana

Canada votes to legalize recreational marijuana

"We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn't worked", said independent Sen. The law allows the federal government to license producers and regulate how they grow, sell and distribute marijuana.

According to NPR, the bill will allow anyone over the age of 18 to possess no more than 30 grams of marijuana. Those caught selling marijuana to a minor could face stiff penalties of up to 14 years in jail. The legislation gives provinces eight to 12 weeks to prepare for the sale of recreational marijuana. That makes cannabis a multibillion-dollar industry that is larger than the tobacco industry and as large as the beer industry.

Initially, the government had planned for the bill to be passed by both houses of Parliament in time for retail sales to begin by July 1. Our plan to legalise and regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.

Canada's federal government started the arduous journey to legalization in April 2017.

In a news conference after the legislation was introduced, Blair, a former Toronto police chief, said, "Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities". "A courageous move on the part of the government", the bill's sponsor Sen.

The bill had been a point of contention between the Senate and the House of Commons for months.

The Senate's amendment was meant to avoid legal challenges of the provinces' constitutional authority to prohibit home cultivation. Also known as the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45 legalizes weed possession and sales for adults, and allows up to four marijuana plants per household. It was defeated by a vote on Tuesday evening.

Will other major countries follow suit?

In the USA, it is only allowed in the states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada.

Based on consumption data from a year ago, Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion (€3.7 billion).


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