Cannabis legalization in Canada officially law as bill receives royal assent

Canada votes to legalise cannabis for recreational use

Mr Trudeau's Cabinet is expected to decide a legalisation date in early or mid-September.

Uruguay became the first country to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use in December 2013 while nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia also allow recreational marijuana use.

Ditching the War on Drugs, Canada is now the second country in the world to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Trudeau administration had initially meant to have the law rolled out by July 2018, but territories and provinces requested for additional time to come up with their own rules for weed sales.

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Once enacted, the new law will allow for Canadians over the age of 18 to buy a gram of cannabis for about Can$10 (€6.50) or less from authorised private and public retail stores or by post.

The legal cannabis rollout will vary greatly province to province.

Quebec, Manitoba, and Nunavut all want to forbid their citizens from growing recreational marijuana at home, even after cannabis is legalized federally.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson Raybould told media on Wednesday that it was not the intent of the federal government to challenge provincial laws regarding home marijuana growth, but that the issue could wind up in the courts if an individual were to present a legal challenge.

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The Prime Minister is also weighing via Twitter, saying it's too easy for kids to get a hold of pot and for criminals to cash in on it. Justin Trudeau says that will change. Medicinal use of the drug has been legal in Canada since 2001. Uruguay previously legalized marijuana in 2013.

On Wednesday afternoon Bill C-46, the impaired driving bill that was introduced alongside Bill C-45, also passed. Marijuana purchases must be made through government-approved vendors that will be regulated by state and province.

Speaking today, Trudeau said: "We have been talking about this since well before we formed government". Canada will set a great example for countries that are considering similar reforms, and it will inspire much-needed debate in those that are not. "We're on the cusp of a sensible, responsible and equitable cannabis policy", she said. "We worked very hard on reviewing the bill, proposing amendments" but ultimately deferred to the will of the elected House of Commons, as unelected senators should, he said.

Expect a lot of stories to come out about these debates, and do not forget to get out to Quebec's election this fall and ensure our provincial government won't fall into the hands of politicians vocally against the Cannabis Act of Canada. In the neighboring USA, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use.

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