Canada Becomes the Second Country to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Clay Curtis
October 18, 2018

Hugo Senecal wanted to be the first.

The Canadian Nurses Association remains concerned about criminal penalties for youth possessing more than five grams of cannabis that "are too onerous" and could jeopardize their future.

A customer looks at cannabis on display after legal recreational marijuana went on sale at a Tweed retail store in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada October 17, 2018.

Canada is the second country in the world to legalize marijuana (behind Uruguay), but the laws do vary from province to province.

Talks over legalising marijuana in Canada have been going on for a while now with the Senate voting 52-29 in favour of legalisation.

"Several other provinces right across Canada are in the same situation".

"This is absolutely taking the province backward", New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath told reporters.

At least 111 legal cannabis stores are expect to open across the country, according to CNBC.

South Africa's Supreme Court ruled last month that adults can use marijuana and grow it for personal consumption - in private.

Thomas MacDonald, 22, said he came to the downtown Montreal store mainly out of curiosity.

"I think more on a short-term basis we should have some cash to make sure we can allocate on a pullback", Taylor said.

But there remain concerns, including about the readiness for police forces to tackle drug-impaired driving.

He said the mood was one of excitement, tinged with some apprehension.

The move is a political win for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who vowed to legalize cannabis during his 2015 election campaign. Since he was elected, he has defended legalisation as a way to get cannabis out of the hands of youth and push organised crime out of the industry.

It could also generate hundreds of millions of extra tax revenues a year for the Canadian government.

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Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of OR said it's time for the USA government to follow Canada's lead.

According to a recent Abacus Data poll published on Monday, 70 per cent of Canadians accept or support legalisation.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. had slumped as much as 15 percent percent by 10:17 a.m.in Toronto for the worst drop since February, before paring losses.

Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while others have made it 19.

However, Ontarians are only now allowed to purchase weed online, after the province's Conservative government introduced legislation that would change the policies adopted by its predecessor on where weed will be sold.

"I don't think Canada legalizing is going to move the ball with regard to legalization in the USA, especially with this administration", says Hannah Hetzer, who tracks global marijuana policy for the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance.

"We heard from provinces and territories who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework, so our government will continue to work in full partnership with them, to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of this new law across Canada".

With its shiny white countertops, glowing white lights and touchscreen browsing computers, the BC Cannabis Store at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre has drawn comparisons to a spa or an Apple Store location.

Nearly three years since the Trudeau Liberals were elected - cannabis products are now legal in Canada.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced a plan to pardon past convictions for simple possession, giving people "greater access to job opportunities, education and housing".

Needless to say, it has been an exciting day here in Canada for fans of all things cannabis.

Patrons can purchase up to 30 grams per visit and they'll also need to provide proof of age at the time of the transaction, and again when their package is delivered.

"Cannabis is not the devil's weed".

At Victoria Park, where cannabis activists have long gathered, small groups proudly sparked up joints Wednesday.

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