- Canada is set to fully legalise cannabis, including for recreational use.
- Cannabis will become a federally controlled, legal, substance on ‘Canada Day,’ July 1 2018
- Minimum age for purchase will be 18, as with alcohol
- Canadians will be allowed to grow four plants per household.
There is some glorious news coming out of Canada this week! The North American state is set to take a historic step and legalise cannabis for recreational use, on a federal level, next year.
From the 1st July 2018, which is also Canada Day, cannabis will be available for legal purchase for everyone, over the age of 18, in Canada. This includes tourists, which could make Canada the new mecca of cannabis!
Cannabis will effectively be treated in the same manner as alcohol once the legislation is passed and codified into Canadian Federal law. While there is still some ambiguity over the details, the government’s task force on cannabis set out the following recommendations:
- Consumers must be 18 to purchase
- Canadians will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams while in public
- Also limits of four plants for those who want to grow their own
- Strict advertising rules, similar to alcohol
Canada’s various provinces will be allowed leeway with their interpretations of the law concerning these rules, but it’s expected that they will stick to the recommended guide-lines.
The provincial governments will have authority over how to manage where cannabis will be allowed to be sold, as well as its price. They’re also being given control over the minimum age, so, if they wish, they can raise it higher than the federal limit of 18.
The plan to decriminalise and regulate recreational cannabis was one of Justin Trudeau’s central campaign promises.
Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, has regularly spoken on the need to bring an end to the criminalisation of cannabis users. He has often argued that regulating the use of the drug would not only help prevent children from using it but will also ensure that the profits from the sale of cannabis don’t end up in the control of criminals.
The Financial Post reported that the budding cannabis industry in Canada could explode into a $5-billion market if Trudeau’s Liberals made the drug legal for recreational use, back in 2015. No wonder the Canadian government wanted to prevent that amount of money from entering the pockets of hardened criminals. From 2018 we’ll finally be able to see how much revenue a state can raise from recreational cannabis. Maybe this will inspire more backwards nations, like the UK, to move away from the Draconian drug war.
While it may seem like Canada is one of the more progressive nations in the world in terms of cannabis legislation, there have been horrific raids on legal medical cannabis dispensaries within the country over the past few months.
World famous cannabis activists, the “Prince of Pot,” Marc Emery, and his wife, Jodie, were arrested earlier in March by the Toronto Drug Squad. In an impassioned post on Facebook, Jodie said: “We have had everything taken from us by these actions of the Toronto Drug Squad, Toronto Police, and the Trudeau Liberal Government… but we have survived cruel injustices before, and we will survive this massive effort to destroy us and our hard work.
I know I can live in peace, knowing that we have NEVER hurt anyone – it’s the prohibitionist government and police who have hurt and even killed millions of people in their drug war – and knowing our decades of activism work has helped millions of people worldwide.”
So while there is great news coming out of Canada, we must remember that until the 1st July next year, 100,000s of Canadians are at risk of facing similar injustices from provincial drug squads. Although, hopefully, with this announcement, there will be less of this kind of nonsense.
By Miles Casey