Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill

The Canadian Senate has passed Bill C-45, “An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.”

The Bill passed 52 votes to 29, with 2 abstentions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear during the federal election of 2015 that legalizing marijuana would be a priority for the Liberal government.

Bill C-45 was met with strong opposition from members of the Conservative government and private citizens, citing concerns of public use and ease of access for minors. In response to these concerns, C-45 will ensure strict regulation as well as legalization. According to Sen. Peter Harder, the passing of this Bill “does not in any way suggest that it’s now party time.”

If you are not familiar with Bill C-45, you can find a plain language guide here. The full Bill can be viewed in its entirety at the Parliament of Canada website, here.

Despite this success for the Liberal government, their initial plans to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana by July 1 will not come to fruition. According to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the provinces will take up to three months to implement “the new legalized cannabis regime.” (The Star)

Even though the proposed timetable will not be met, it will likely be in the Liberal government’s best interest to make sure as many communities as possible have the right infrastructure in place to make this transition work. As we draw slowly closer to the end of this term and the beginning of the next election cycle, the Liberal Party will want to ensure their flagship promise from 2015 hasn’t left a bad taste in voters’ mouths.

Update: The Prime Minister has officially stated that the new law will come into effect on October 17, 2018.

Want to read more about the effects of Cannabis? You can read more here.

See also our previous article about Bill C-45 here.

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