It was once just a dream for many Canadians but on 17th October 2018 Cannabis became legal across the whole of Canada making it the largest country to legalise weed. Uruguay was the first country to legalise weed back in 2013.
Supporters of the legalisation are saying it will bring new medical advances and help stamp out drug related crime. However on the other side some critics argue that long term use can actually harm peoples health.
The Canadian government is allowing people to have a possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis per person. The use of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001 and Justin Trudeau’s government has spent two years working toward expanding that to include recreational marijuana. The goal is to better reflect society’s changing opinion about marijuana and bring black market operators into a regulated system.
“I am living my dream. Teenage Tom Clarke is loving what I am doing with my life right now,” said Tom Clarke, 43, whose shop in Newfoundland began business as soon as legally possible. Clarke had been dealing marijuana illegal for the last 30 years and had dreams to open a cafe in Amsterdam, the dutch city where weed has been legally smoked in coffee shops since the 1970s.
At least 111 legal pot shops are planning to open across the country of 37 million people on the first day, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces. Toronto and Ontario will not be opening any store yet as they are still working on their regulations. The federal law has made the sale and recreational use legal but how it will be sold is up to each provincial governments.
The bill was not without its critics, the Senate had asked for 40 amendments to the original bill, including one that would have allowed provinces to ban home cultivation. The government rejected that amendment and continues to pass the bill. The bill that passed allows for people to grow up to four plants at home for personal use. Two provinces, Quebec and Manitoba, still intend to outlaw home cultivation.
Conservative Senator Larry Smith chastised the government for “failing to educate” children about the dangers of cannabis use ahead of legalisation.