The Canadian government cleared up any haze clouding their stance on marijuana: they’re making it legal, and soon.
The Liberals announced they will introduce a law next year to legalize recreational marijuana, fulfilling their election campaign promise to make the drug easily accessible.
Justin Trudeau originally made the promise while campaigning for Canada’s PM position, but never confirmed when the initiative would occur. The PM admitted to using marijuana in the past, but said he never enjoyed it much.
Health Minister Jane Philpott made it clear that the law will make it difficult for kids to get their hands on the drug, while keeping criminals from profiting from its sale.
“We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures,” she said. “We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem.”
The announcement was made on April 20th, or the date 4/20, where cannabis is celebrated by users on the unofficial ‘weed day’.
Not everyone in Canada is on board with the Liberals’ acceptance of weed. Gerard Deltell, a legislator from Canada’s opposition Conservatives, feels the new legislation will only lead to life-long problems, and a general dip in people’s health.
“That’s one of the worst things you can do to Canadian youth – to open the door to marijuana … it’s wrong, all wrong,” he told reporters in Ottawa.
While medical marijuana is an independent from recreational legislation – medicinal marijuana is already legal – shares in medical marijuana producers shot up after the government’s announcement. For example, OrganiGram Holdings rose nearly 16 per cent to $1.25, and Aphria Inc rose 8 per cent to $1.67.
The Liberals haven’t outlined the delivery logistics, though the expectation is the federal government will dictate the supply chain, while provincial governments oversee the distribution model.