Canada will be the second country, and the first G7 nation, to legalise the recreational use of marijuana after the Canadian Senate passed a “historic” bill on Tuesday with a vote of 52-29.
In the neighboring country of United States (US), nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use.
Uruguay was the first country to legalise the marijuana’s production, sale, and consumption in December 2013.
Bill C-45, which is also known as the Cannabis Act, was based on a campaign pledge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime.
The act to legalize the recreational use of weed was first introduced on 13 April 2017 and was later passed at the House of Commons in November.
The Senate passage of the bill was the final hurdle in the process.
The Canadian government had stated that it intended to implement the Act by July 2018. However, provinces and territories, who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for marijuana sales, have advised that they would need eight to 12 weeks after the Senate approval to transition to the new framework.
The government is expected to choose a date in early or mid-September.
On Twitter, Mr Trudeau wrote, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.”
It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 20, 2018
Jody Wilson-Raybould, the justice minister for the country, also applauded the move, posting, “C45 has passed the Senate – this is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis. This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.”
#C45 has passed the Senate – this is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis. This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/guaWrS1kHG
— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) June 19, 2018
Adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public once the bill is formally approved, as well as cultivating up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.
However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana.
Consumers are only allowed to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or federally licensed producers when neither of those options are available.
The local news report stated that marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
The minimum age to consume the marijuana is 18 years, which makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors. The province is allowed to increase the minimum age, however, as the intention is to discourage Canadian youth from pot use, the government established many of the same restrictions that exist for cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.
The country is expected to get billion-dollars from the industry, as total spending of marijuana in the country could surge as high as 58 percent, especially as users are expected to be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug.
Possession or consumption of cannabis in Singapore can result in a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a possible fine of S$20,000, as well as caning, under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Trafficking, import or export of more than 500 grams may result in the death penalty.