Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana


OTTAWA-The federal government is steering Canada into a bold and risky social experiment with proposed new laws legalizing recreational marijuana for those aged 18 and older-and stringent new criminal sanctions for those who break them.

Bill Blair, the ex-Toronto police chief turned Liberal MP, said the objective is not to promote the use of pot, but to allow its safe, socially responsible use through the mechanism of legislation and strict regulation. "We need a new approach".

The Liberal government has also pledged to have a public campaign rolled out to educate people on the dangers of marijuana use, especially when driving and combined with alcohol and other drugs.

Of-age individuals may possess and/or share up to 30 grams of cannabis, as well as buy pot or grow up to four cannabis plants at a time inside of a residence.

If all this sound like a hassle and you just want to stay home, you could grow your own pot - each household will be allowed up to four plants, not to be taller than one metre in height.

The Globe and Mail stated that the legislation would put in place new criminal offences, including a maximum penalty of 14 years to anyone who sells or provides marijuana to a minor.

The government is now making plans to regulate how marijuana can be marketed. The proposed legislation will be carefully scrutinized by provincial governments, marijuana producers and a number of would-be distributors and sellers of marijuana that are all looking for a piece of the multibillion-dollar market. But when Mr. Trudeau's bill passes as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product.

Bringing marijuana products across the border could cause confusion for citizens of both countries: Americans who may cross back into the US still under the influence, and Canadians who enter the USA unwittingly in possession of marijuana.

Ralph Goodale, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said Thursday that the Canadian government has developed legislation with its American counterparts in mind.

This file photo taken on April 20, 2016 shows a woman waving a flag with a marijuana leaf on it next to a group gathered to celebrate National Marijuana Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. The minimum legal age would be 18, though provinces would be able to raise that.

The stated aim of legalization is to reduce policing and prosecutions, and keep marijuana out of the hands of children.

But Larsen said there is no direct correlation between blood THC levels and whether or not you are impaired for driving.

The government will allow the citizens to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use.

But the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said organized crime, including the infamous Hell's Angels motorcycle club have already acquired legal production licenses for medical marijuana that can then be sold illegally across the country. For the most part, the bill follows the recommendations made by a recent federal task force on marijuana legalization. Goodale said Canadian tourists "should never lie" to border guards and suggested he had raised the issue with USA officials.