Pot Will Be Legal As Of Oct. 17, 2018, Says PM Trudeau!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed the date during question period in the House of Commons, saying Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting on Oct. 17, 2018. "We work in partnership with the provinces, and since we've passed these measures in Parliament we've been listening to the provinces who have been asking for more time to implement it," Trudeau said in French.
OTTAWA – Get your first legal high in Canada on October 17 as that is the day pot becomes legal in the Great White North, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.
Trudeau revealed the date during question period in the House of Commons, saying Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting on Oct. 17, 2018.
"We work in partnership with the provinces, and since we've passed these measures in Parliament we've been listening to the provinces who have been asking for more time to implement it," Trudeau said in French.
"That's why we're accepting the request of the provinces and that's why we'll be legalizing it as of Oct, 17, 2018."
BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth issued a statement following Trudeau's announcement, calling the end of the 85-year prohibition historic.
"Today, the Government of Canada has made history by announcing the end of a 95-year prohibition on non-medical cannabis, and confirming the legalization date of Oct. 17, 2018. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, creates a new national framework that provides access to a regulated supply of cannabis, while implementing restrictions to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use.
While the federal government was responsible for the bill that will ultimately legalize recreational marijuana possession, home growing and sales to adults — by dismantling key aspects of the Criminal Code that ensured prohibition for 95 years — the practical details of implementing legalization have been left largely to the provinces and territories, reported CBC News.
As is common in the Canadian system of federalism, each province has taken a different approach — and some are more prepared than others. New Brunswick, for example, has already built its first retail storefront, while Nunavut only passed its legal framework on Tuesday.
The government has long said there would be a buffer of eight to 12 weeks between the bill's passage and full legalization to allow provinces to get their systems up and running to sell recreational marijuana from storefronts.
The Oct. 17 date is 17 weeks away.
Trudeau said three "big" provinces, including Quebec, asked for more time to put their sales regimes in place, making a longer runway for legalization necessary.
The Senate last night passed a contentious bill to legalize pot — but Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould warned Canadians today that they won't be allowed to legally light up until the aforementioned date.
Farnworth said the federal legislation creates a corresponding need for provincial and territorial governments to establish cannabis-related laws and regulations. He said B.C. recently passed legislation to ensure we have a responsible regulatory framework in place for the safe implementation of legalized cannabis throughout our province.
"We're now focused on developing the regulations and supporting policies for the implementation of our provincial regulatory regime. We are also working on provincial public awareness and education campaigns, to ensure British Columbians have the information they need regarding legalization and our provincial regulations when they come into force.
"It's important to remember that the date set by the federal government for cannabis legalization will just be the beginning. The legalization of cannabis is complex, and the Province is committed to monitoring the implementation and making any adjustments necessary to meet our provincial goals. This includes continuing to engage local governments and Indigenous governments and organizations beyond legalization, to ensure specific interests and concerns are addressed."