Canada will see the legalization of marijuana by the summer of 2018, according to a report.
According to a CBC report Sunday, the Liberal government is set to announce legislation next month that would legalize recreational pot by July 1, 2018.
The report said the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10. However, a Globe and Mail report suggested the bill be introduced on April 20, a date symbolically known as 4/20 among cannabis culture lovers.
Last year on April 20, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced during a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, that the government planned to introduce the legislation legalizing marijuana in spring 2017.
“Clearly the current approach is not working,” Philpott said during an appearance at Fanshawe College Monday. “Young people are using cannabis in very high amounts. They are purchasing that cannabis from people who have connections to criminal organizations who provide the supplies.”
In a statement to Global News, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould confirmed the legislation would be introduced in the “spring” but no timetable was given.
“Our government is committed to introducing legislation this spring that would, as promised, legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis,” the minister said. “In order to meet our commitment to legalize, the legislation will need to pass through the parliamentary process in a timely fashion.”
According to the CBC, the Liberals will set a minimum age of 18 to buy pot but will allow provinces to up the legal age if they feel the wish to do so. It will also be up to provinces to decide how pot is bought and sold, and at what price.
Individuals will be allowed to grow up to four pot plants per household, the CBC reported.
B.C. MP Peter Julian, one of four contenders in the race to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader, said the federal government has failed to keep its 2015 campaign pledge to legalize and regulate pot for recreational purposes.
“I believe in legalization,” Julian said during the NDP’s second leadership debate. “I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that … we are still seeing, particularly young Canadians, being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana.”
Law enforcement agencies are still cracking down on pot-related crimes across Canada despite the intention of the government to legalize recreational weed.
Earlier this month, police conducted raids on pot dispensaries in B.C. and Ontario, owned by the self-proclaimed “Prince,” and Princess of Pot,” Marc and Jodie Emery.
Speaking with Global TV’s The Morning Show on Monday, Emery cautioned that once the legislation is introduced, it’s still open to amendments.
“We’ve yet to see the final legislation but the fact that Canadians will be able to grow four plants is great,” Emery said. “They will be able to buy it at common outlets that will be able to carry marijuana.”
Emery said he wants to see pot producers that are “already in the industry… kept in the industry.”
“Licensed producers cannot possibly meet the demand of five million Canadians,” Emery said. “It’s nowhere near that, it would take years to scale up, unless you use the existing grey market, black market infrastructure.”
–with a file from The Canadian Press
Watch below: July 1, 2018 is the date the Trudeau government is aiming for to officially legalize marijuana in Canada. But there are still many questions about where it will be sold and how to keep it from kids. Tom Vernon reports.