Recreational marijuana from coast to coast to coast by the time Canada turns 101: this is the goal of the legislation that the Trudeau Government tabled in Parliament.
The standard of 30 grams of dried or fresh cannabis would be set. The federal minimum would set at 18, though provinces can establish an older age. People can grow up to 4 plants at home or purchase from a licensed retailer.
Provinces would have the option to sell marijuana at the same place as alcohol, though how the marijuana will be sold in one of the many contentious issues.
The legislation also goes severely after sales to youth and impaired driving. According to information provided to reporters by Health Canada, edible products won't be available right away. This likely is tied to making sure minors don't confuse lollipops with actual lollipops.
Tourists will be allowed to use marijuana while in Canada, though they will be prohibited from being the drug across the border.
The current plethora of medicinal marijuana locations will have to be addressed. We have seen especially in Toronto and Vancouver a considerable number of these facilities. The provinces set drinking ages with all but 3 provinces going with 19 years old. Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba have a 18-year-old drinking age.
Even if the feds set the age of 18, most provinces aren't likely to leave the level there. A consistency with alcohol and marijuana laws seems most likely. The focus is especially intense in British Columbia, the only province that borders a state (Washington) that has recreational marijuana. British Columbia might ironically get more tourists from 19- and 20-year-olds from Washington in a community that can go legal on the U.S. side when the population turns 21, similar to drinking ages now in key border-crossing areas such as Detroit, Buffalo, and the sections of New York and Vermont near Montréal.
As for the timing of Canada Day 2018, pushing through the legislation in the House should be fairly easy but still take a long time to pass. There are enough Conservatives in the Canadian Senate that may slow down the marijuana legalisation legislation.
Until now, and maybe not even then, the United States is generally unaware that Canada is moving toward legalisation. Fewer Americans know that the Martin Government was working toward marijuana legalisation before the government lost the 2006 federal election.
"He will pick a fight with Canada over legalizing marijuana, but will he last long enough in the office before that happens."
That was our prediction about Donald Trump. Getting legal marijuana in Canada was always going to be an issue for the United States, regardless of the commander-in-chief. We've seen the cluelessness and pettiness of Trump and his associates. The rational reasons for legalisation won't occur to Trump in his reasoning.
We have over a year before we'll see approved legislation. Time to have an extensive dialogue in a number of areas.
photos credit: me