Currently, the only legal use of marijuana in Canada is for medical purposes. However, that could be about to change, which could mean good news for many in the country. Canada is moving ever closer to the legalization of recreational marijuana thanks to the passing of Bill C-45 by Canada’s House of Commons. Now, the bill needs to move on to the Senate in order to pass and then be fully implemented. If it does, this means Canada’s government will legalize cannabis use by the summer of 2018.
While there is a good chance the Bill will pass, the conservative element in the country opposes the Bill because they feel that the deadline is too soon and that it will be difficult to meet and have all the needed regulations and infrastructure for proper enforcement in place. Conservative members of the government had tried to delay the bill, but it was eventually passed with a vote of 200-82.
During the committee phase, there were several concessions made to amend parts of Bill C-45. Namely, they removed a provision for size limits to marijuana plants located in private homes. In addition, an amendment to the Bill would require that lawmakers revisit edible cannabis items within a year. In addition, an amendment will require that the lawmakers return to and review the bill in three years.
Already Legal at the Federal Level in Canada
One of the major differences between the cannabis laws in the United States and in Canada is that the substance is already legal at the federal level in Canada. That’s not true in the United States, where it remains a Schedule 1 drug, despite having been passed in many states for medical and for recreational usage. Strangely, this means the U.S. government believes that marijuana is more dangerous than meth and other drugs that are known to be dangerous.
Those who have spent any amount of time actually researching marijuana know that this is ridiculous. Marijuana has helped many people who have had medical issues with pain relief, nausea relief, and more. When used properly, it is safe for recreational purposes, as well. In addition, the way the federal laws work in the United States has been very detrimental to all of the U.S. businesses that are entering the field. They have to be extremely careful about their actions, including their marketing in many cases. It puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
In Canada, companies who are already in the marijuana business and those emerging companies who are in the field do not have this concern. Because it is legal at the federal level, the companies in Canada are seeing some massive investments from multinational firms right now, and this is likely only going to increase in the coming year when marijuana becomes legal for recreational use throughout the country. Companies in the United States are not getting the same attention.
Hopefully, recreational use will be legal in Canada by the middle of next year, and perhaps eventually the federal government of the United States can follow suit.
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