On 17th October, Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s acting on his 2015 election promise paved the way to legalization of cannabis in his country making it the second country in the world to legalize cannabis after Uruguay.
Canada’s upper house of parliament approved the revised bill when the Senate voted in favor of the bill by 52-29, from the elected house of commons. After a long battle, Justin Trudeau’s liberal government managed to legalize marijuana after introducing the legislation last year. As for medical marijuana, it has been legal in country since 2001. In about 8-12 weeks new marijuana marketplace will be set up.
PM Justin Trudeau on many occasions have voiced against the criminalizing marijuana arguing that a nearly century-old criminalization of the drug has been ineffective since the country falls among the worlds heaviest users of the drug. “we are not legalizing cannabis because we think it’s good for our health. we are doing it because we know, it’s not good for our children.”, he also said that “we need to do a better job to protect our children or to eliminate or massively reduce the profits that go to organized crime.” according to the rules, adults will now be able to buy cannabis oil, seeds, plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers. And can now be able to possess up to 30 grams in public. as for the restrictions, it will be illegal to grow more than 4 plants per household or buy from an unlicensed dealer. The penalty for getting caught selling the drug to a minor is jail for 14 years. According to Trudeau’s government, these new rules will reduce crime and prevent underage consumption of the drug.
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Opposite to the views of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s previous PM Stephen Harper had always been very vocal about his favor for the criminalization of the marijuana saying “legalizing cannabis is the wrong direction for the society and causes more addiction and greater use by children.”. Among his numerous outburst on the subject, he once said “there’s just overwhelming and growing scientific and medical evidence about the bad long-term effects of marijuana. We’ve spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the usage of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success. Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse and it’s something that we do not want to encourage. On his clash with the then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Harper said “if we sell marijuana in stores like alcohols and tobacco, that will protect our children? No one believes that”. to which Trudeau replied ” the reality is that we have kids who find it easier to buy marijuana than cigarettes and beer. If a young person buys marijuana, it’s because he had contact directly with a criminal. We will continue to control marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol, not to sell them in corner stores”.
Soon after it’s legalization Ian power became the first man in the country to buy the drug legally. “Prohibition has ended right now. we just made history.” said the 46-year-old citizen. “I can’t believe we did it. all the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada, and everyone should come to Canada to enjoy Cannabis”.
However, this policy has created a problematic situation for the US and Canada have been posting out the signs to warn the travelers that crossing borders with the drug are still illegal.
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