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Alex
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Go Canada!

June 8, 2018
Canada's Senate passed a bill Thursday legalizing recreational marijuana, moving it closer to becoming the first member of the Group of Seven nations to legalize the production, sale and consumption of the drug.
Bill C-45, or the Cannabis Act, passed the Senate with 52 votes for, 30 against and one abstention after months of debate over the ramifications of legalization.

The Cannabis Act will now go back to the House of Commons, which passed the bill in November 2017 but needs to sign off on changes made by the Senate.
Legalizing weed was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has admitted having smoked a joint with friends "five or six times."

The initial timeline for legal pot sales called for it to be available by July 1, Canada's national day, but fall now appears more likely.
It would then be up to Canada's provinces and territories to set up distribution networks and enforcement.
The sale of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001.

Bill C-45 would allow individuals over the age of 18 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.
Sales to anyone under 18 would be banned under federal law but provinces and territories could set their own age limits.
Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion ($4.5 billion US), based on last year's consumption data.
Uruguay approved the recreational usage of marijuana five years ago and nine US states have too but Canada will be the first G-7 country to do so.

'Canada is being daring'
In an interview with AFP last month, Trudeau said the world is closely following Canada's plans and predicted several nations would follow suit.
"There is a lot of interest from our allies in what we're doing," he said.
"They recognize that Canada is being daring... and recognize that the current regime (of prohibition) does not work, that it's not preventing young people from having easy access to cannabis.

"In many countries, especially in Canada, it is easier (as a minor) to buy a joint than buy a beer," Trudeau said. "Organized crime is making huge sums of money on the illicit sale of marijuana."
Trudeau insisted that creating a regulated market would take it out of the hands of crime groups and "better protect communities and children."

However, he added the allies he spoke with "are interested in seeing how things go... before they try it," without specifying which nations.
It would also allow the federal government and the provinces to levy taxes on legal weed sales amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Pot sales would be through authorized retail stores much like the current situation regulating alcohol sales in Quebec and Ontario.
A total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products. Under the new measure, individuals could grow up to four plants at home.

The government has also set aside funds to study the impact of legalized cannabis consumption on public health.


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Alex
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Re: Go Canada!

Canada lawmakers vote to legalize cannabis (Update)
June 18, 2018
(Note: the author does not appear to know the difference between marijuana and cannabis, so details may be inaccurate. Canada is voting on marijuana. -ed)

Canada is set to become the first G7 country to legalize cannabis after lawmakers on Monday passed a bill that would allow free consumption of the drug.
Passed by 205 votes to 82 in the House of Commons, the legislation must still pass the Senate—which could delay, but not block it—and receive royal assent by the governor general before becoming law, likely by September.

Legalizing weed was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has acknowledged smoking a joint with friends "five or six times" including since being elected as an MP.
The Liberal government's pointman on the pot file, Bill Blair, said at the weekend it was "probably looking at a date of implementation somewhere toward the beginning of September, perhaps mid-September."
Uruguay approved the recreational usage of marijuana five years ago and nine US states and the capital Washington have done so too, but Canada will be the first G7 country to take the step.
An initial July 1 target was set for ending the pot prohibition that dates back to 1923, although it was effectively legalized for medical use nearly two decades ago.

Despite setbacks, Trudeau has insisted his government would move to legalize the production, sale and consumption of the psychoactive drug before facing the electorate again in 2019.
Last week, the government rejected 13 out of 46 amendments to the bill proposed by the Senate after several months of study, with Trudeau's health minister rising to defend home cultivation of cannabis and branded pot swag.

"Canadians are allowed to make beer at home, or wine," Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said at the time.
"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."
The government, she said, would follow its expert panel's recommendation to allow at-home cultivation of up to four pot plants for personal use.
As for the proposed advertising restrictions, she said the bill already contains limits such as a requirement for plain packaging.

Cannabis trendsetter?
Once the law is enacted, Canadians over the age of 18 (19 in some regions) will be able to buy a gram of pot for about Can$10 or less, from a patchwork of authorized private and public retail stores or by mail order, with each province and territory responsible for setting up distribution.
Personal possession will be limited to 30 grams (one ounce).
Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion ($4.5 billion US), based on last year's consumption data.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau estimated the cannabis tax haul will be about Can$400 million, but Ottawa has agreed to retain only 25 percent of these monies, with the rest going into provincial government coffers.
In an interview with AFP last month, Trudeau said the world was closely watching Canada's pot plans and predicted other countries might follow suit.

"There is a lot of interest from our allies in what we're doing," he said.
"They recognize that Canada is being daring... and recognize that the current regime (of prohibition) does not work, that it's not preventing young people from having easy access to cannabis."
The prime minister argued that creating a regulated market would take the drug out of the hands of crime groups and "better protect communities and children."

Yet he added the allies he spoke with ahead of a recent G7 summit in Quebec "are interested in seeing how things go... before they try it," without specifying which nations.


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