Canada Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Two women smoke weed on Parliament Hill on 4/20 in Ottawa Ontario

The final vote passed 52 to 29, with two abstentions, meaning that Bill C-45 will now head for Royal Assent later this week before it officially becomes law. Trudeau's Cabinet is expected to decide a legalization date in early or mid-September.

His government introduced legislation previous year in a bid to make Canada the second country in the world to legalise cannabis, after Uruguay.

Canada is now the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, paving the way for recreational marijuana sales throughout the country.

Just prior to the announcement, the country's leading cannabis producers reported a surge in stocks - with market leader Canopy Grown jumping 1.7% to $43.27 Canadian dollars - following the Senate vote to legalise the soft drug.

Once the act comes into force, adults who are 18 or 19 years of age and older (depending on the province or territory) will be able to legally purchase, grow and use a limited quantity of cannabis.

Until then, Wilson-Raybould said: "I would like to also remind the public that driving while impaired by drugs is, and will remain, illegal".

For instance, it is illegal to order marijuana online and have it sent through the mail in the U.S., but Canadians will be able to do so once the law comes into effect.

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The government says it will broaden its public education activities to help Canadians understand the new legal framework for cannabis, including what will be legal and when, and to remind Canadians that it remains illegal to take cannabis across Canada's worldwide borders.

The Prime Minister took Twitter soon after Senate passed the bill saying, "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits".

Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana's production, sale and consumption in December 2013. And although the House didn't agree to all of the changes, the Senate chose to agree to give in to the updated bill. "We would like to commend the fearless advocates who spent years building momentum for change...to all Canadians who participated in turning an idea into reality, this is your moment to celebrate".

The law was expected to go into effect on 1 July, but the bill was delayed by Senate revisions. The western provinces will allow at least some private retailers to operate, while eastern provinces (including Ontario but excepting Newfoundland) are restricting sales to government-run stores.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has estimated Can USD 400 million in fiscal revenue, with a goal to keep prices low in order to end the black market for the drug.

In the neighbouring USA, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana.

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