Justin Trudeau to launch plans to legalise marijuana across Canada
Canada is about to do something very few countries in the world have tried, and that is to make recreational marijuana legal. Today, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau's government will reveal exactly what it thinks pot legalization should look like, and there are a lot of important questions that will need to be answered. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government will then publish a draft legislation on the legalization of the plant later this week. Under the new legalization rules which will fulfill an election campaign pledge promise that was made by the Liberal Party, Canadian citizens will be able to carry up to 30 grams of the recreational drug. Most likely there will be a debate on the age of which it will be legal to buy marijuana. Justin Trudeau has said that he previously favored the law to be set to allow the drug to be used legally from the age of 18. However, Conservative politicians have now joined forces with the Canadian Medical Association to propose that the age is set at 21. This because of evidence showing cannabis can damage brain development up to the age of 25.
As a compromise, the new plans could allow individual Canadian provinces to set the age of lawful cannabis consumption in line with the legal age for drinking alcohol. The new proposal for the age of 18, or 19 in some provinces, will most likely align with the legal age for drinking across the country. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is also asking the government to back down on plans to allow people to grow the drug at home, saying it would put too much of a burden on law enforcement officials. A government task force on the issue had suggested setting the limit at four plants per home and limiting the height of each plant to 100 centimeters in a bid to reduce fire risks. Taxing marijuana is a big deal for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, an excise or sin tax could mean more revenue for the government, which Prime Minister Trudeau has suggested could be funneled back into addiction services and into public education. But charge too much, and you can wind up with a problem.
As the Canadian parliamentary budget watchdog pointed out in its analysis of the new fiscal considerations when legalizing pot, if the marijuana tax is too high, buyers will stick with purchasing it from the black market. The PBO analysis also points out that when the state of Colorado legalized pot in 2014, it charged a combined tax rate of almost 30 percent. About half of the pot consumers stayed in the illegal market. And then there is the questin regarding pot edibles. The chair of the Canadian government's cannabis task force, Anne McLellan, said that the group learned some very important lessons about edibles from Colorado's experience. She said at first Colorado didn't require that chocolate bars containing marijuana be scored into individual pieces. And what happened is that some people would eat up eating the whole bar in one sitting and wind up in the emergency room. The edible concerns are even more serious when it comes to children, who could mistake some of the pot edibles, like gummy bears and lollipops, for candy. The Children's Hospital in Colorado has a warning on its website that the drug can have an even stronger and more prolonged effect on kids. With many kids requiring hospitalizations.
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