A Trail Blazing New Law

pot leaf

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Announces Pot Will be Legal by 2018

Anagabriel Trevino
News Editor

The idea of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis isn’t new to Canadians, but this new iteration of the proposal is more concrete than ever before.

As early as January this year, there were still no clear timeline regarding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s electoral promise of legalising marijuana.

On March 27th, Prime Minister Trudeau announced his plan to make marijuana legal. The reasons, he explained on the Liberal Party’s website, were that “Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

“We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

The new regulations and the exact nature of the new laws will be announced during the week of April 10th, and will come into effect starting on the summer of 2018. The laws could be implemented as soon as Canada Day, July 1st (CBC News).

Some of the restrictions and technicalities have already been released by CBC and go as follows:

The Canada-wide, minimum age for purchase and consumption of pot will be 18 years old, but each province will be free to set the age limit higher. It will also be up to each province to manage distribution and set the price. The fedaral government will be responsible for the quality of the product. Only Ottawa can license producers. The maximum number of plants that can legally be kept in one house is four More information on the precise legislation and its implications will be made public during the week of April 10th. According to CBC News, the legislation will roughly follow the recommendations made by a federally appointed task force chaired by former Liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan who leads a team of experts.

The overarching goal of all the regulations that will be instituted is to “ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana” (liberal.ca).

Despite all the talk of legalisation. the Trudeau government continues to enforce current laws. Earlier this month, Marc and Jodie Emery, aka: the “prince and princess of pot” were arrested and later released with a bail of $30,000 (Global News).

Questions arose about the incident and the seeming contradiction. Prime Minister Trudeau clearly stated on March 1st: “Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply,” (CBC news) days before the arrest of the Emerys.

Publicly traded medical cannabis companies are seeing a notable rise. As stock market prices continue to climb, it’s hard not to believe analyst Neil Maruoka when he states that “it’s introduction into the House of Commons should be viewed as a significant positive industry catalyst” (Financial Post).

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