Yes, it looks like Canada is literally going to pot. While there’s no truth to the rumor that the Canadian national anthem is changing from “O Canada” to “Oh Yeah! Canada,” AP and CBS are reporting that our neighbor to the north could make recreational marijuana use legal as early as spring 2017.
A Canadian Federal task force recommended this week that Canadian adults be allowed to buy marijuana for recreational purposes, and the government outlined new laws that would permit adults 18 and up to possess up to 30 grams (roughly an ounce) of marijuana and grow four plants each for personal use.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a longtime supporter of legalized pot, says the new laws are intended to control and regulate marijuana sales to keep weed away from kids while also reducing revenues for criminal organizations and street gangs.
The task force’s legal proposals would prohibit marijuana sales at locations that sell alcohol or tobacco but allow the creation of alcohol-free cannabis lounges. The government group, headed by former Liberal Party Health Minister Anne McLellan, also recommended that higher-potency pot be taxed at a higher rate than weaker strains, which sounds supremely sensible, i.e., quintessentially Canadian.
Before making their proposals, McLellan’s group travelled to Colorado and Washington state and spoke to government officials in cannabis-friendly Uruguay to hear directly from those who have enacted policies to legalize pot.
“We are only the second nation to move forward in this way,” McLellan said, urging the Canadian government to use caution.
Wary of a stampede (and no, we’re not talking about the Calgary Stampede) in the run-up to legalization, Canada’s Prime Minister advised…wait for it, wait for it, there it is: Caution.
“Until we change the law, the law stands,” said Trudeau.