Let’s Smoke That Sh*t Canada!
Written by Marcin K3 Talaga on April 13, 2017
Great news for Canadian pot lovers!
The Liberal government has tabled legislation to end the prohibition on pot and regulate it for recreational use, checking off a major campaign promise from the 2015 campaign.
The legislation allows people to possess up to 30 grams of dried or fresh cannabis and sets the minimum at 18 years of age, though provinces can set a higher legal age.
Consumers can grow up to four plants at home or buy from a licensed retailer. Dried and fresh cannabis and cannabis oil will be available first, with edible products to become available later, according to information provided to reporters by Health Canada.
The new legislation provides for ticketing for possession that exceeds the personal limit by small amounts, or up to 14 years in jail for an illegal distribution or sale, and imposes tough new penalties of up to 14 years in jail for giving or selling marijuana to minors. A new offence with a penalty of up to 14 years in jail will also be created for using a youth to commit a cannabis-related offence. However, youth who are found in possession of up to five grams of marijuana would not be criminally prosecuted, in order to avoid consequences of criminal prosecution.
The new bill also:
- Prohibits marketing to appeal to youth.
- Prohibits sales through self-service display or vending machines.
- As part of an overhaul of Canada’s impaired driving laws, it makes it illegal to drive within two hours of having an illegal level of drugs in the blood, with penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine to life imprisonment, depending on the level of drugs in the blood and whether someone was injured or killed as a result of the impairment.
- Does not prevent provinces from allowing sales at the same place as alcohol.
- Prohibits tourists from bringing pot past the border, but allows them to use pot while in Canada.
There are no details yet on how marijuana will be priced or taxed; the finance minister is expected to outline that in future.
Prime Minister Justin Traitor has repeatedly said the goal is to restrict access of marijuana to minors and choke off profits from sales to organized crime.
The proposal to legalize pot has been applauded by marijuana advocates, but has raised concerns from others about a potential rise in impaired driving and the impact on the mental health of young Canadians.
The government hopes to clear the parliamentary and procedural hurdles to make pot legal by July 1, 2018.