Other than excellent healthcare, Canada has a new incentive to covet the country with the Cannabis Act taking effect today, (10/17) that allows the legalization of marijuana for adults.
The North American country joins the South American country Uruguay as the only two nations in the world to make the use and distribution of cannabis legal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a campaign promise in 2015 to legalize marijuana — bringing this historic move to fruition is a gigantic win for the Prime Minister seeking reelection in 2019.
“By controlling it, by legalizing it, we’re going to make it more difficult for young people to access and we’re going to ensure that criminal organizations and street gangs don’t make millions, billions of dollars of profit every year.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canada’s Cannabis Act is not just a celebration for marijuana users and distributors, but it’s also a win for government officials who seek to stomp out the underworld tied to recreational cannabis use.
The two main points of the act is to: prevent youth from accessing cannabis; and displace the illegal cannabis market.
The leg of the Canadian government regulating the cannabis industry stated that protecting the health and safety of youth is a top priority. They also urged the public to understand that the act establishes serious criminal penalties for those who sell or provide cannabis to youth.
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
It also establishes a new offense and strict penalties for those who use youth to commit a cannabis offense.
In addition, the Act also prohibits:
- products that are appealing to youth
- packaging or labelling cannabis in a way that makes it appealing to youth
- selling cannabis through self-service displays or vending machines
- promoting cannabis that could entice young people to use cannabis, except in narrow circumstances where it will not be seen by a young person
The government asserts that The Cannabis Act protects public health and safety by: setting rules for adults to access quality-controlled cannabis; and creating a new, tightly regulated supply chain.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 17, 2018
Each province will have its own laws and regulations but a few rules apply broadly including cannabis is only legal for adults 18 and older, you cannot travel outside of the Canadian border or into the country with marijauna and legal cannabis products are only sold through retailers authorized by the provincial or territorial government.
In April of 2017, the Prime Minister said, “There’s no black market for beer. There’s no black market for alcohol.”
He’s also acknowledged the government’s plan has taken inspiration from the U.S. where recreational marijuana is now approved in nine states, according to Yahoo News.
“We’ve been able to go down and learn from their successes, their failures and that has definitely helped inform how we’re going to move forward on a legalization framework,” Trudeau said.
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Sarafina Wright is a political correspondent for EBONY.com. Previously she served as the editor of the WI Bridge and staff writer at the Washington Informer in Washington, DC, covering business, education, health and politics. She attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. Sarafina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.