Canada passes Cannabis Act, legalizing sale of marijuana

Source:AFP Published: 2018/10/17 21:03:41

Nearly a century of marijuana prohibition came to an end Wednesday as Canada became the first major Western nation to legalize and regulate its sale and recreational use.

The change was praised by pot enthusiasts and investors in a budding industry that has seen pot stocks soar on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, but sharply questioned by some health professionals and opposition politicians.

"We're not legalizing cannabis because we think it's good for our health. We're doing it because we know it's not good for our children," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on the eve of the reform.

"We know we need to do a better job to protect our children and to eliminate or massively reduce the profits that go to organized crime."

The Cannabis Act, which fulfills a promise Trudeau made in the 2015 election campaign, makes Canada the second nation after Uruguay to legalize it.

Its implementation will be scrutinized and dissected by Canadians ahead of the next election in 2019, as well as other nations that the prime minister has said may follow suit.

Trudeau himself admitted in 2013 to having smoked pot five or six times in his life, including at a dinner party with friends after being elected to parliament.

He has also said that his late brother Michel was facing marijuana possession charges for a "tiny amount" of pot before his death in an avalanche in 1998.



Posted in: AMERICAS

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