Trending in Marijuana: Will Canada be the Next Country to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
On Monday, March 27 Canadian marijuana stocks soared amid reports of planned legalization of the drug’s recreational use. An official within Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government reported (on the condition of anonymity) that the legislation will be introduced during the week of April 10th, and may become law by July 2018.
The new law would entail a minimum purchasing age of 18, with the Federal government in Ottawa being tasked with licensing producers and provincial government managing distribution and pricing. And much to the delight of green-thumbed Canadians, up to four marijuana plants may be grown per household. Snoop Dogg, in response, tweeted “Oh Canada!”
On Thursday April 13th 2017, Canadian officials discussed the details surrounding their plan. The idea would be that recreational cannabis would be legal for adults who are at least 18 years old in most places. They want to treat it like alcohol.
In most Canadian provinces, the legal drinking age is 18 years of age. The plan is to allow individual provinces to determine if the legal age for cannabis consumption will be the same as that for alcohol consumption. If things go well, Canadian adults could be enjoying legal marijuana by July 1st 2018.
Upcoming meetings will concentrate heavily on the subject of age limit. The Canadian Medical Association wants to make the age limit 21 and over. Their concern is that marijuana use could affect the brain development of younger individuals. The plan would also allow Canadian adults to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per household.
And in the U.S., two trailblazing Illinois lawmakers introduced legislation that would make their state the first to legalize marijuana in the Midwest. The two bills, SB0316 and HB2353, would license businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products, and would also allow residents 21 years-old and up to possess, grow and buy up to an ounce of the drug. With more than one type of green on its mind, Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Heather Steans believe that the change in legal status could help bridge the state’s “multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 to $700 million in new tax revenue.” And further revenue would be expected from bolstered tourism and job growth within the new industry.
However, Illinois may face resistance not only from within the state, but also from the federal government. Attorney General Jeff Sessions,“drug war dinosaur”, has stated that he plans to enforce federal marijuana laws and “review” the Obama administration’s memo that gave states room to pass their own marijuana laws.
Still, Canada’s move is very exciting for the pro-legalization movement here in the United States. If our neighbors to the north jump on the legalization bandwagon, it will be even more difficult to justify the war on cannabis and in the United States, we could be one step closer to full legalization.
We will continue to monitor trending topics in cannabis legalization.
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