Monday, January 9, 2017

Liberals just say no to legal cannabis in 2017

Ottawa plans to open up legal market for cannabis by 2019 - The Globe and Mail - Daniel Leblanc:

December 13, 2016 - "The Canadian government is giving itself until late 2018 or early 2019 to open up the market for recreational marijuana....

"In a report released on Tuesday, a task force chaired by former Liberal minister Anne McLellan provided 80 recommendations to end the prohibition on marijuana that dates back to 1923, using a model similar to the one in place for sales of tobacco and alcohol.

"The report said Canadians should be able to buy or carry 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, while those who want to grow their own could have four plants at home. The system would feature storefront sales and mail-order distribution, and allow a wide diversity of producers to operate legally, including 'craft' growers and the current producers of medical marijuana.

"A senior federal official said the report has been well received inside the government and will have a large influence on the upcoming legislation to legalize marijuana.... Still, the official explained that opening up the legal market will depend on the 'readiness of the provinces,' which will be in charge of regulating the wholesale distribution and retailing of cannabis. As such, the official said that implementing the new regime in 2018 would be an ambitious target, given the complexity of the task, with 2019 being more likely....

"Ms. McLellan said the current system that criminalizes the consumption of marijuana is simply not working and needs to be updated.... But she refused to advocate an immediate amnesty for pot possession or a temporary decriminalization. Until the law is changed, she said, current laws 'should be enforced'."

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