Marijuana legislation coming to Canada next spring   Leave a comment

Toronto Star


OTTAWA—On a day when thousands of people were preparing to gather in the sunshine on the lawn of Parliament Hill for the annual celebration of cannabis culture — and smoke a little, too, in plain view of the police — the Liberal government formally announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana.

“We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem,” Health Minister Jane Philpott said Wednesday in New York during an impassioned speech to the United Nations General Assembly at a special session on global drug policy.

The timing of the announcement on April 20 — or 420, as pot activists and connoisseurs call this calendar day — was a coincidence, more than one government source insisted, but still a fitting day to reveal plans to make good on a major campaign promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.

The legislation to be introduced next spring and the regulations that follow it will be designed to keep marijuana away from both children and organized crime, said Philpott, whose speech drew upon her experience as a doctor in Africa as she spoke about the impacts of ineffective drug policies.

“While this plan challenges the status quo in many countries, we are convinced it is the best way to protect our youth while enhancing public safety,” Philpott said.




The Liberal government will be launching a task force within the next few weeks to closely examine and evaluate every aspect of their goal to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, as well as give the government advice on designing the new system.

“We will task them with a very specific set of questions around how it will be produced, where it will be accessed and sold and around questions of taxation,” Philpott told the CBC in an interview from New York.

The draft regulations, which will govern everything from standards for packaging and labeling to exactly how to prevent it from being sold to minors, will be open to comment from Canadians.


A Canadian flag with a cannabis leaf flies on Parliament Hill during a 4/20 protest, Monday, April 20, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT


The Canadian health minister unveiled the timeline to legalize marijuana at the United Nations, where she acknowledged the change would “challenge the status quo” in many places around the world. It actually goes further than that: legalizing marijuana will go against three global treaties on drugs Canada has signed onto over the years.



The Liberals campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, so they have the mandate – and the majority government – to get it done. But that does not mean their political rivals will not be trying to score as many points as possible from Canadians who may not be as warm to these plans.

Charges and convictions

What about people being punished for something that is about to be legal? The C.D. Howe Institute published a policy paper arguing the Liberal government should think about pardoning people who have been convicted of marijuana possession, as well as drop any charges for same, in order to save money that could be redirected towards legalization efforts.

No breathalyzer for marijuana

The maximum legal blood-alcohol level for fully licensed drivers in Canada is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which can be estimated during a road stop using a breath sample. There is no similar instrument for measuring impairment from pot, and what is more, the reaction people have to it can vary widely from person to person.


Colorado and Washington State have legalized cannabis



Native Americans have embraced the idea of legalization. They contend they could grow and sell marijuana on reserves at discount prices.


dope9 native americans


Uruguay has fully legalized cannabis laws

dope10 uraguay


Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Politics

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