Canada legalizes marijuana for recreational use nationwide

Canada has voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use

Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, creates an overarching national regulatory framework and enables each province to establish its own system of licensing and regulating marijuana businesses.

Sen. Peter Harder, the Liberal government's representative in the upper house, argued that senators have done all they could to study the bill thoroughly and recommend improvements.

Many countries have decriminalised the use and possession of cannabis, abandoning prison sentences for consumers, but only a handful have gone as far as legalising its cultivation and use.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, which had expected legal recreational sales to begin on July 1, now says late August or early September looks more likely because the provinces and territories will need eight to 12 weeks to prepare.

On Twitter, Trudeau praised the bill and focused on Canada's youth.

"We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition, that's historic". Our plan to legalise and regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.

Speaking about Bill C-45 passing, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould cautioned Canadians that the current prohibition and laws about cannabis will remain in place until the date of implementation, and urged people to follow the law until then.

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Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said the U.K.'s drug policy is "inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date" and that the "battle is effectively over".

Supporters believe the move will help control organized crime while keeping pot out of kids' hands, according to the bill.

That year, the Dutch decriminalised the sale of small amounts of cannabis - less than five grams - and allowed each person to legally grow five plants for personal use.

However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco. The minimum age to buy and use the drug will be 18, though in some provinces it will be 19.

It will also be monitored by global investors who have already poured billions into Canadian marijuana firms.

In the United States, BDS Analytics estimated that the pot industry took in almost $9 billion in sales in 2017.

Canadian lawmakers have taken the final step toward legalizing recreational marijuana-and it will become official as soon as Queen Elizabeth II's representative signs off on it. If that number holds true, marijuana would pass the liquor industry across the country. Some provinces, like Ontario, are planning on provincially-run outlets, while others, like Alberta, will open up retail marijuana to the private sector.

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