Canada Passes Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

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The Canadian Senate voted Tuesday evening to legalize marijuana across the entire country.

"Canada is moving into a place that no country - other than Uruguay - has ventured to go", Eric Costen, director general for the federal government's cannabis legalization and regulation branch, told a conference last month.

Each province in Canada is coming up with rules for the sale of recreational pot.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29.

"It is already possible for Canadians to grow cannabis for medical purposes and we absolutely believe the legislation should be consistent when it comes to recreational cannabis".

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Senators stressed that the government is taking a very cautious, prudent approach to this historic change.

The Senate's amendment was meant to head off any legal challenges to the provinces' constitutional authority to prohibit home cultivation. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed and sold.

The government rejected 12 other amendments approved by the Senate. "A fearless move on the part of the government", the bill's sponsor Sen.

"That does not in any way suggest that it's now party time".

The Canadian government planned for retail sales to start in the beginning of July, but the start date was pushed because the Senate required more time to review the bill. We'll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada's $7 billion illegal market.

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"The impact is we're going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporations and making a lot of money and they're going to be doing it at the expense of vulnerable people in this country", said Conservative Sen.

Canada's federal government started the arduous journey to legalization in April 2017. Also known as the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45 legalizes weed possession and sales for adults, and allows up to four marijuana plants per household.

The bill lifts a 95-year-old ban on recreational marijuana, though regulated medical marijuana has been legal in the country for almost two decades.

That forced the government to make a written commitment to more consultation and increased funding to help communities deal with the potential negative fallout from legalization and cash in on the potential economic windfall.

Where else is Cannabis legal?

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