Recreational Cannabis Use Now Legal in Canada
Canada just became the second country in the world to have legalized recreational cannabis, next to Uruguay back in 2013. Although this major obstacle has been cleared, there are a lot of issues that needs to be ironed out in this growing industry.
There are several laws that govern the dispensaries, as well as the planting, cultivation, harvesting, distribution and retail of cannabis products. Here are some of the common questions surrounding this landmark legislation.
No. For instance, there’s strict regulation about retailing marijuana in special dispensaries. One of the stipulations is that these establishments can’t sell alcohol or tobacco. If there are no private dispensaries, state and provinces are allowed to open one. You can actually purchase from government-run sites.
You also can’t expect a lot of varieties from these dispensaries as they are just starting out.
Canadian law allows their residents to grow a maximum of 4 plants, no more than a meter tall, per household. Provinces such as British Columbia added that private growers must keep their plant out of the view of the public and in a location that is secure.
Other provinces are stricter and have made it illegal to grow marijuana in the home. Landlords are also pressuring the provinces to give them the right to forbid their renters from growing cannabis on their property.
Unlike the United States that has a minimum age of 21, Canada’s minimum age is 18. Depending on the province, it could be 19. This is not surprising if you compare the legal age to purchase alcohol which is 18 or 19, depending on the province.
U.S. federal laws still considers marijuana illegal so it’s wise to use caution in regard to crossing the border with pot in the United States. Also, a kink in the law is that you might not be able to enter the US if you’ve been proven to have used cannabis in Canada.
Ironically, if you’ve purchased marijuana in the US, your item will be confiscated if you try to enter Canada. Not only that, you will face a criminal charge, as well.
If you’re driving under the influence, the punishment will fit the crime. Motorists suspected of THC influence will be subjected to a saliva test. If the result is between 2 and 5 nanograms in their blood, they may pay a fine of $1,000. Those with more than five nanograms in their blood may face imprisonment as well as a stiffer fine.
The same applies if your blood shows traces of alcohol alongside cannabis. Driving under the influence on a more serious level may result in conviction and sentencing of up to 10 years in prison.
Presently, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that around 1.4 million Canadians have been passengers in a car driven by somebody impaired by the use of cannabis. Young adults with ages between 15 and 24 are particularly vulnerable.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already announced that he will pardon inmates who’ve been convicted of marijuana possession. The previous law does impose a fine of $1,000 for simple possession, along with six months imprisonment.
However, the pardon seems to be limited to simple possession for now. The volume is also significant as the limit to be eligible for pardon is 30 grams or less. Canadian legislators have not indicated a desire to pardon individuals who’ve been found guilty of trafficking.
PM Trudeau had said that the decision to legalize marijuana is to protect kids from harmful effects. By regulating the industry and handing over the reins of research to certified laboratories, all the harmful effects of cannabis will be minimized.
Canada expects to generate $400 million in tax revenues from the legalization of marijuana. 25% of the tax revenue would go to the federal government and 75% of the tax would go to the provinces. This substantial amount could help pay for addiction research, better care for the elderly and new medical care facilities. In addition to tax revenue the legalization of marijuana is estimated to boost the Canadian Economy by 8 billion dollars.