Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Parliament passes cannabis legalization — but ...

Canadians can't light up yet, justice minister warns after 'historic' bill to legalize pot passes | CBC News - John Paul Tasker & Kathleen Harris:

June 20, 2018 - "The Senate has passed a contentious bill to legalize pot — but Canadians won't be allowed to legally light up for several weeks yet, to give provinces time to set up a retail regime, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould warned today.

"Last night, senators passed C-45, the federal government's bill to legalize recreational marijuana, with a 52-29 vote and two abstentions.

"The bill stipulates the law does not come into force until a date is fixed by an order of the governor-in-council — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. The government has long said there will be a buffer of eight to 12 weeks between the bill's passage and full legalization....

"'Cannabis for non-medical use is not legal yet. The law still remains the law,' Wilson-Raybould said during a news conference on Parliament Hill. 'The date that cannabis will become legal will be announced soon. Until then, I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force'....

"The government initially floated July 1 as the date for retail sales to begin but the timeline was pushed back as senators debated the bill at length. Under the current timeline, legalization is most likely to occur sometime in September.

"Until the bill receives royal assent — the last procedural step of the legislative process — it will be illegal to transport cannabis....

"When asked Wednesday if the government was considering pardons for Canadians convicted of marijuana-related offences, Wilson-Raybould said such a question was 'premature.'

'I think, as has already been stated, the law remains in effect until it's repealed and replaced through Bill [C-45] and quite frankly any discussion of those records can't take place until that process is complete,' she said....

"Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut want to ban home cultivation. Today, Wilson-Raybould said the bill provides a 'framework' and that it's not the federal government's intention to challenge provincial laws. She noted that a resident could challenge any province that moves to ban home-growing, though."

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