Canada introduces legislation to legalise marijuana

New York [U.S.], Apr. 14 (ANI): The highly anticipated legislation aimed at regulating recreational marijuana use by July 2018 has been introduced by the Canadian Government.

The new legislation paves the way for the country to become the first in the G7 to fully legalise the drug, reports CNN.

Since becoming the Liberal leader in 2013, Justin Trudeau has argued that the decriminalisation and regulation of marijuana would help keep the drug away from children and ensure profits don't end up in the hands of what the prime minister described as "criminal elements".

On Thursday, the government tabled two bills designed to end more than 90 years of prohibition.

"Despite decades of criminal prohibition, Canadians - including 21% of our youth and 30% of young adults - continue to use cannabis at among the highest rates in the world. The proposed legislation, which is introduced today, seeks to legalise, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis," said Bill Blair, the MP who is set to lead the government's plans for legalisation.

Ottawa will regulate production, including licensing producers and ensuring the safety of the country's marijuana supply, and the Canadian provinces will decide how the drug will be distributed and sold.

The federal government has stipulated that buyers must be at least 18 years old, but provinces will be able to set a higher age limit if they wish.

Dried and fresh cannabis, as well as cannabis oil, will be initially available with edible products to follow. Medical marijuana is already legal in Canada.

However, strict guidelines will be set on how marijuana can be marketed, as the government is currently deciding whether producers should be required to use plain packaging, with endorsements banned and child-proof packaging required.

Canadians will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use, but those who sell or give marijuana to minors or who drive under its influence will face stiff penalties. (ANI)

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