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21 April 2017, 04:43 | Erica Roy
The Canadian government's movement toward legalized recreational marijuana will have major implications in American border cities like Buffalo, where Western New Yorkers would theoretically be free to cross the border to buy and use the drug at Ontario's discretion.
"The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people".
If approved, legislation would establish new rules letting Canadians legally buy, harvest and have limited amounts of government-controlled marijuana in addition to implementing measures meant to discourage individuals from skirting the proposed restrictions.
Adults would be able to have up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public and be permitted to grow up to four plants per household.
Under these rules, individuals would be allowed to grow up to four plants at home for personal use.
The measure would legalize possession of up to 30 grams of certain marijuana products and place harsher penalties on selling pot to minors and for driving under the influence.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will be among those at a noon news conference to talk about one of the most anticipated packages of legislation in recent memory.
Two new bills tabled in the House of Commons Thursday include one to regulate recreational use, sale and cultivation of marijuana and a second that toughens offences.
On that note, there are now 42 companies that have been authorized by Health Canada to produce medicinal marijuana across the country. The proposed legislation will be carefully scrutinized by provincial governments, marijuana producers and a number of would-be distributors and sellers of marijuana that are all looking for a piece of the multibillion-dollar market. Canada joins Uruguay, the only other nation to have fully legalized recreational marijuana (Portugal has had great success with its decriminalization of all drugs).
There are also a series of prohibitions on the marketing, advertising and display of marijuana products.
But keep in mind that until marijuana is legalized next year, all existing laws surrounding cannabis must be respected.
Provinces and territories would make their own decisions regarding the distribution and sale of marijuana, Health Canada says.
As a neighbor and ally, Canada's legalization has the potential to influence future legislation in the United States - marijuana is already legal in eight states but subjected to federal restrictions and interference.
"What we will see is that the regulation surrounding cannabis will become harmonized with those surrounding alcohol", Battley said.
The bill is opposed by the official opposition Conservatives and has many critics in the addiction recovery community, who are not convinced the legislation will be effective in protecting children or in reducing the growing dependency of Canadian youth on cannabis. Canadian provinces can raise that minimum age higher if they'd like.
"Every sovereign country has the ability at the border to make decisions for themselves", Goodale said.
After acquiring Royal Assent, the proposed act would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis.
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