Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made good on one of his campaign promises by introducing a new bill that will legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. The bill is drafted as a revolutionary measure to allow marijuana to be treated as a consumer product.
The move came as a surprise for some, but it was not completely unexpected. Various officials have spoken against criminal prohibition, saying that a legalized, regulated marijuana market is the future. While Canada will not be the first to legalize marijuana, Trudeau’s approach will set precedents for years to come.
The introduction of Trudeau’s new bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana comes at an interesting time when the US administration is showing signs of potential crackdowns. Back in February, US Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled the administration’s position on the recreational and medical use of marijuana.
President Donald Trump’s choice for US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is also noted for his stance against the legalization of marijuana. This has created a series of uncertainties which has pushed several states – states where marijuana is already legal – towards creating new bills that will better protect consumers.
Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon lawmakers recently released a bill that prohibits marijuana dispensaries from storing customer information. The bill is designed to prevent such information from being used in future crackdowns and other actions by the federal government. Despite the recent efforts in many states, a big question remains unanswered: how will marijuana legalization be treated under Trump administration?
More Work to Be Done
Trudeau appointed Bill Blair, a former Toronto police officer who is currently sitting in office, to lead and manage the legislation. Blair, whose years of experience in law enforcement are essential, said that the government is aiming to allow legal sales of both medical cannabis and recreational marijuana products by the middle of 2018.
“We do accept that important work remains to be done,” he said.
The majority of Trudeau’s bill was drafted by a panel of experts. Details about the production and distribution of recreational marijuana products have been thought of as part of this new regulation, including how growers will be licensed and regulated. On the other hand, some details still need to be discussed.
A Decentralized Effort
The move to legalize the recreational use of marijuana across Canada is an interestingly decentralized effort. The federal government may retain control over the more basic elements of the regulation, but it is up to each province to govern the distribution and sales of marijuana within its cities. Other parts of the equation – such as developing instruments to prevent the use of marijuana while driving or working – are also being discussed.
It is interesting to note that the main goal of this new bill is to eliminate any uncertainty regarding the production, sale and use of marijuana across the country. It is also not a regulation that will turn Canada into an open market for marijuana-based products, since there are still protections and limits in place to regulate the industry.
Robert Brusco studied in the USA and obtained a university degree in Sociology. Some of his fields of interest are History, Politics and Ethnology. He collaborates as a web writer for different online magazines.