Canada Legalized It
Canada just became the 2nd country in the world to legalize pot.
Canada is the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, paving the way for recreational sales throughout the country.
Canada's Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday evening approved the revised bill 52-29, making Canada the first G7 country to legalize marijuana. Uruguay did so in 2013.
Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, legalizes marijuana but leaves it up to each province to decide how to sell it. Some provinces, like Ontario, are planning on provincially run outlets, while others, like Alberta, will open up marijuana retail to the private sector.
The federal government set a minimum age of 18 to purchase marijuana, though some provinces have indicated they will raise the age to 19, mirroring liquor-purchase laws. The bill makes the distribution and sale of marijuana to minors an offense.
Retail sales are expected in six to 12 weeks.
Canada's new law is expected to have a ripple effect internationally.
From the 1960s through the ’80s, much of the world, including the US and Canada, signed on to three major international drug policy treaties: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Drugs of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. Combined, the treaties require participants to limit and even prohibit the possession, use, trade, and distribution of drugs outside of medical and scientific purposes, and work together to stop international drug trafficking.
There is some debate about whether these treaties stop countries from decriminalizing marijuana — when criminal penalties are repealed but civil ones remain in place — and legalizing medical marijuana. But one thing the treaties are absolutely clear on is that illicit drugs aren’t to be allowed for recreational use and certainly not for recreational sales. Yet that’s exactly what Canada has now moved to allow.
Canada is bordered by four U.S. states that have legal marijuana, and may soon have a fifth.
Michigan already allows patients to use medical marijuana. The prospects of the Wolverine State also legalizing recreational marijuana now look better than ever.
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers gave its stamp of approval on April 26, 2018 to an initiative to put recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot later this year. Supporters needed to gather 250,000 signatures; they ended up with more than 365,000.
It's possible, however, that legalization of recreational marijuana won't be on the ballot when voting takes place in November. The state legislature could pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana even sooner.