Canada votes to legalize recreational marijuana

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Canadian pot stocks surged Wednesday after a bill to legalize recreational marijuana passed one of the last major hurdles in the country's parliament.

"We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn't worked", independent Sen. Uruguay previously legalized marijuana in 2013. The coffeeshops of Amsterdam, for example, operate in a grey area - where use is technically illegal but personal consumption is tolerated as part of a policy of "decriminalisation".

Why did Canada pass this law?

Canada is set to become the first G7 nation to legalise recreational marijuana after a bill from Justin Trudeau's government won the backing of the upper chamber.

"We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition, that's historic". Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. "This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime".

Vancouver, where the use of cannabis is legal for medicinal use, has a large number of marijuana stores, largely due to its closeness in proximity to Washington, an American state in which cannabis has been legal for a number of years. Legal sales are expected to start sometime in early or mid-September. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern cannabis trade.

According to NPR, the bill will allow anyone over the age of 18 to possess no more than 30 grams of marijuana.

Things like how it is sold and where it can be smoked will be decided by individual Provinces, but federal government will be in charge of packaging, health warnings and advertising. In the other provinces and territories it will be 19, which is the minimum alcohol purchase age in all those jurisdictions except for Manitoba.

Many fear children will have easier access to the drug, which has proven harmful effects on the developing brain. "The fact that that's done means now we can move ahead with some of the key aspects with provincial legislation". "I don't think it is of such importance to warrant an extraordinary intervention".

The Trudeau government rejected that amendment and senators voted 45-35 against insisting on it.

The impact on public health is another concern, especially for those who have problems with overuse and addiction.

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