Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that recreational marijuana will become legal nationwide starting Oct 17th.
The proclamation by Trudeau came after following a historic vote in the Senate Tuesday to pass Bill C-45, which would legalize cannabis for Canadian citizens.
Trudeau said the delay in legalization was due to the provinces wanting more time to implement the new law than it was originally anticipated. The bill had been previously scheduled to take effect sometime in September. Provinces, territories, municipalities and other stakeholders say they want to make sure their slice of the pot pie will be operating within the new rules.
The Cannabis Act, (also known as Bill C-45) is a fulfilled electoral promise by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party in Canada. Adults over the age of 18 in Canada will be allowed to buy, possess and use small amounts of recreational cannabis starting on Oct 17.
The bill also lays out the parameters restricting the production, possession, safety standards, distribution and sale of the drug. One provision allows provinces and territories to set set higher minimum ages for the sale if they so desire. The law also creates new Criminal Code statues that would prevent the sale of marijuana to minors.
Canada is the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana and the first of the G-7 nations to do so.
Closer to home here in the United States, legalization is far more piecemeal. Only nine states, plus, Washington D.C., have put recreational marijuana on the books. More than half of the U.S. has some form of medical marijuana laws on their books. On a federal level, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug with a "high potential of abuse" along with heroin, ecstasy, and peyote.
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