Canada Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Critical Hurdle

Canada Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Critical Hurdle

A bill to to legalize marijuana in Canada passed a crucial step on Thursday, with the Senate approving the legislation at third reading. If ultimately implemented, Canada would become the first G7 nation to fully legalize cannabis.

The bill, C-45, represents a key campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party—and it was sponsored by Independent Senator Tony Dean. The bill passed the traditionally conservative Senate 56-30, with one abstention.

Dean said he “would rather not let those harms [of prohibition] continue both on the social side and the health side,” in a closing statement. “I would like to join other jurisdictions—like those in the U.S.—that have seen signification diversion” of marijuana from the black market to a regulated system.

The vote took place one day after the prime minister announced the appointment of two Independent senators to vacant seats, sworn in hours before the vote, which some saw as an effort to ensure the legalization bill passed.

What’s next?

Because the Senate also approved almost 50 amendments throughout the debate process—including one that would let individual provinces prohibit home-grown cannabis and another to limit cannabis companies’ ability to use products like t-shirts and hats to advertise their brands—the legislation must first go back to the House of Commons. Should the House accept the amended language of the bill, legalization would “technically” be the law of the land, CTV News reported.

The reason for that technical stipulation is that the government estimates that it will take as many as 12 weeks before the retail sales system is implemented. The bill must also be approved by “Royal Assent,” which is generally a formality where a representative of the Canadian monarchy sanctions the legislation.

A technical amendment approved during the third reading on Thursday would require a committee review of the legislation five years after implementation.

https://twitter.com/GlenKorstrom/status/1004803047606767617

What C-45 would accomplish

The bill would legalize the sale, use, possession, and limited cultivation of marijuana for adults 18 and older. Under the legislation, the government would create a regulatory system designed to reduce youth marijuana use and imposes taxes on retail sales, among other responsibilities.

Sessions Talks Marijuana With Anti-Legalization Canadian Senators

Photo courtesy of Christopher Policarpio.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Canada Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Critical Hurdle

Canada’s Ruling Liberal Party Endorses Drug Decriminalization

Canada’s Ruling Liberal Party Endorses Drug Decriminalization

Delegates at the national convention of Canada’s ruling Liberal Party have adopted a resolution endorsing the decriminalization of all drugs.

“The Government of Canada should treat drug abuse as a health issue, expand treatment and harm reduction services and re-classify low-level drug possession and consumption as administrative violations,” reads the measure adopted by party members on Saturday.

The resolution was pushed by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.

The resolution touts the success of a drug decriminalization policy enacted in Portugal in 2001.

“Since 2001, in Portugal, the number of deaths from drug overdose has dropped significantly, adolescent and problematic drug use has decreased, the number of people in drug treatment has increased, the number of people arrested and sent to criminal courts has declined by 60%, and the per capital social cost of drug misuse has decreased by 18%,” it says.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who was Portugal’s prime minister when the country enacted decriminalization, recently touted the policy’s success at a UN narcotics meeting.

UN Chief Touts Drug Decriminalization In Speech To Narcotics Commission

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently working to enact a marijuana legalization bill.

Trudeau said he’s not ready to support broader decriminalization of other drugs yet, though.

“We’ll of course reflect on next steps for a broad range of issues they bring up. On that particular issue, as I’ve said, it’s not part of our plans,” he said, according to CBC.

The drug decriminalization resolution got the third-highest support out of all measures considered at the convention. Party members also adopted a resolution calling for the decriminalization of sex work.

Despite strong support for the resolutions from members at the convention, party leaders are not obligated to support the proposed policy changes.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Canada’s Ruling Liberal Party Endorses Drug Decriminalization

 

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