After a landslide vote, Canada moves one step closer to marijuana legalization. Will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s dream of legalizing cannabis throughout his country be actualized by his planned date of July 2018?
Back in 2013, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly stated his views on cannabis. He thought that the federal prohibition on recreational use was ill-advised. Especially since Canada already had a national medical marijuana program.
But rather than go for the half-measure decriminalization route, Trudeau took a bold stance. He announced that he was in favor of total legalization.
Unlike some leaders, Trudeau’s plan of action wasn’t all talk to win over voters.
On April 13, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould introduced Bill C-45, more often referred to as The Cannabis Act, to Parliament, where both Liberals and Conservatives supported the measure.
Since then, province leaders have been tasked with some vital decision-making. Primarily, the legal age of purchase and consumption within the provinces. Federally, the legal minimum age will be 18—the same as with alcohol. While Quebec plans to stay in accordance with the federal law, other provinces are still ironing out the details.
This week, the Canadian House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favor of Bill C-45. The final tally was 200 to 82.
While this means that Canada is moving one step closer to marijuana legalization, the Cannabis Act isn’t out of the woods just yet. The bill now needs to travel to the Senate. There, Canadian senators will debate and vote on it as well.
It’s important to remember that even though Bill C-45 was passed by a landslide in the House Commons, it might not have as much success in the Senate. According to sources, senators in the Conservative party are conspiring to delay the voting process. And thus, undermine the proposed timeline.
Conservative senators say that their motive for delaying the bill rests in the provinces.
According to them, the proposed July 2018 implementation is too soon for the provinces to get in gear. Some senators think that a July 2019 date would be better for the country.
Final Hit: Canada Moves One Step Closer To Marijuana Legalization
The mere fact that the Cannabis Act passed by such a landslide in the House of Commons is huge. Before Canada starts worrying about the fate of Bill C-45 once it goes to the Senate, they should celebrate this victory.
Politicians in the country have been talking about federal cannabis legalization for years. Now, it’s finally getting closer to becoming reality.
If the Cannabis Act passes in Canada and proves to be successful, it would undoubtedly set a precedent. At least in the United States. Even though our current administration isn’t exactly pro-weed, our next administration might be more progressive and rational. After all, when it comes to social and political change, optimism is key.