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Canada Senate Passes Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Canada, being the second country to do so.

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Yesterday, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Senators passed the federal government’s bill legalizing recreational marijuana by a vote of 52-29, and is making waves for a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks.

Canadian Senator Tony Dean stated to reporters yesterday, “It ends 90 years of needless criminalisation, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health and community health in favour of just-say-no approaches that simply failed young people miserably.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement on Twitter saying

The government had planned for the bill to be passed by both houses of Parliament in time for retail sales to begin by July 1st, however the timeline was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review the bill.

However, Canada’s measure restricts marketing and advertising just as the US does with the tobacco industry. Jon Caulkins, a drug policy expert stated to Vox “For public health purposes, “every serious researcher around the world thinks it’s a very good idea to restrict advertising of tobacco, alcohol, any dependence-inducing substance.”

In Canada, since it is legalized at a federal level, it’s going to be a bit different than the United States. Since cannabis is illegal at the federal level, asking state employees to run marijuana shops would be illegal.

The difference is, government-run marijuana shops is that they could be better for public health, due to the fact they generally will be more aware of public health and safety.

Canadians will be able grow up to four plants in their own home and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. Also, the minimum age of consumption will fluctuate between 18 or 19 years depending on the province.

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Erin Whitten is currently CMN's Senior Correspondent and is currently a student at Arizona State University majoring in Mass Communications and Media Studies.

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