Canada to legalize cannabis for recreational use in 2018 – reports
Next month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party will announce plans to permit the use and possession of a certain amount of the psychoactive drug, according to CBC News.
The legislation would make good on a long-standing promise by the Liberal Party to make cannabis more freely available but under government control.
According to CBC News, the new marijuana laws would come into power in 2018 with Canada’s provincial authorities given the ability to set prices, as well as raise age restrictions above the minimum 18 years.
The legislation is tipped to follow many of the recommendations made by a cannabis legalization task force, which released a report on the topic in November 2016.
The report, led by former Justice Minister Anne McLellan, recommended that 18 be the minimum age of purchase and that cannabis products should be sold in plain packaging.
It also added that the government should “commit to using revenue from cannabis as a source of funding for administration, education, research and enforcement.”
Strict advertising standards of cannabis items should also be put in place, the report stated, adding: “A robust and regulated production, distribution and retail network that meets demands in the domestic market will help curb the illicit market and help identify those who operate outside the legal market.”
It’s understood that personal cultivation of cannabis would be limited to four plants (maximum 100cm/39 inches tall) per residence, as outlined in the task force report.
During his run for office, Prime Minister Trudeau made the legalization of marijuana part of his manifesto, highlighting that current laws weren’t preventing the drug from falling into the wrong hands.
“Our current approach is failing our kids,” he said back in 2014. “It’s not protecting them from pot, it’s allowing them to access marijuana easier than they access alcohol or cigarettes. Millions of dollars of the trade are being funnelled into criminal organizations and street gangs."
Trudeau’s vision is also outlined on the Liberal Party website: “The Liberal solution is clear: If we pass smart laws that tax and strictly regulate marijuana, we can better protest our kids, while preventing millions of dollars from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs.”