OTTAWA, Apr 10: The government’s legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use is coming Thursday, CTV News has confirmed.
The legislation will provide the first details of how the federal government plans to control the sale of legal weed.
The government struck a task force last year to study legalization, which made more than 80 recommendations on how to sell and distribute pot. The recommendations included setting the minimum age at 18, but ultimately letting each province and territory decide whether to harmonize the minimum age for pot purchases with the legal age to purchase alcohol.
It also recommended allowing storefront and mail-order sales, as well as a four-plant-per-person growing limit, and strict advertising limits, similar to those in place for tobacco.
Conservative MPs have complained about the minimum age, citing evidence pot use can harm brain development until age 25, while the New Democrats say the government is moving too slowly and should decriminalize marijuana possession so nobody caught with it before it’s legal will have to endure a criminal record.
Bill Blair, the Liberal MP in charge of the file and a former Toronto chief of police, has emphasized that the current ban on possession remains until the new law takes effect. It will likely take until next year to bring the law into force, given the need for co-ordination with the provinces and territories.
The Liberals say they want to make it harder for young Canadians to buy marijuana and keep the proceeds away from organized crime.