As we reported last month, there has been some question as to when Canada will finally legalize weed. Initially, Justin Trudeau predicted that weed would be available by the start of summer of 2018. However, as of yesterday, Canada is all set to legalize marijuana by the end of the summer.
An Updated Timeline For Legalization
In an interview with Canadian news program The West Block, parliamentary secretary for the minister of public safety Mark Holland reported that Canadians will be able to buy weed by the end of September.
The liberal party currently controls the executive branch of the Canadian government, led by Justin Trudeau. Opposition to cannabis legalization largely comes from the more conservative Senate.
Holland explains, “We’re working closely with the Senate and we feel confident, at this time, in that timeline of end of summer that we’re going to see a regime that will control and legalize cannabis.”
Canadians have been discussing marijuana legalization since the liberal party ran on a legalization platform. The Canadian House of Commons voted on bill C-45, which legislates the sale, cultivation and use of marijuana, last November. The bill passed 200 to 82.
The Senate passed bill C-45 in a Second Reading vote last week. Next, government officials will investigate this marijuana legislation at a Senate committee.
The deadline for getting marijuana legislation through the Senate is June 7.
The federal government wants to give provincial authorities time to create their own cannabis infrastructure. This means preparing local police and deciding on marijuana sale and smoking restrictions.
Why The Delay?
Canada is all set to legalize marijuana by the end of the summer. This is a later projection than was initially reported. This is mostly due to conservative resistance in the Senate. Those opposing the bill argue that law enforcement needs more time to prepare for legalization.
Parliamentary secretary Holland agrees that the police aren’t prepared to deal with cannabis, nor have they ever been. The more immediate problem is the illegal sale of marijuana. On The West Block, Holland explains:
“It is a massive problem on our streets and our police are absolutely ill-equipped to handle it. Our cannabis rates are among the highest in the world. So we can put our head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, or we can turn the corner and finally start doing something about it.”
Conservatives and Liberals Share Concerns About Marijuana Legalization
Though liberals are pushing for legalization, they are making sure that legislation is in place on the federal and provincial levels. Holland, for instance, wants to prevent the marijuana industry from becoming like the tobacco industry.
The best way to do this, Holland believes, is to use generic packaging.
“We’re making sure that it isn’t attractive to young people. We’re making sure the warnings are present there, and that they can’t use marketing as a tool in the way that tobacco has,” Holland says.
Final Hit: Canada Is All Set To Legalize Marijuana By The End of The Summer
Legalization has overcome many hurdles to get to where it is today. From the liberal party’s victory in the federal election to passing bill C-45 in the House of Commons and in a Second Senate Reading, marijuana legislation has come a long way.
And with staunch liberal support, weed will hit stores by the end of the summer.