Trudeau introduces bill to fully legalize marijuana in Canada

Canada is making trending news as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday introduced a new measure that will legalize recreational marijuana throughout Canada. The new legislation, which is expected to pass in Parliament, will make Canada only the second country in the world to fully legalize recreational marijuana use, following the country of Uruguay. If the new legislation is passed, the measure will take effect in July of 2018. The new legislation comes after the Prime Ministers 2015 campaign pledge to push for full legalization of the recreational drug. In the United States, eight states and Washington, D.C., allow forms of recreational marijuana use, but the drug remains federally prohibited. The Canadian new proposal, however, comes with a lot of challenges. For example, the government will have first to develop a way to test potentially impaired drivers for intoxication by marijuana with something in the way of a breathalyzer. Each Canadian province will be allowed to decide age the minimums for marijuana possession and where the pot can be bought and sold.

Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel had a bit of fun Thursday night with the news that the Canadian government had just introduced new legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. In his monolog, the television host of Jimmy Kimmel Live joked that Canada was about to become the stoner living in America’s attic. Kimmel also got a big laugh when he suggested that Canada must want Vancouver native Seth Rogen back and that the punishment for being caught with pot in Canada would to have a police officer say, “Hey, maybe don’t do that, eh." But all joking aside the new legislation in Canada is by no means a done deal. The bundle of bills tabled Thursday in the House of Commons in Canada mark the start of a lengthy process which the government hopes to have completed by July of 2018. The new bills are sure to face heavy scrutiny in the coming weeks and months ahead as Ottawa, and the provinces and territories each hash out the finer details of the major issues like distribution and law enforcement. Once passed the new legislation is passed, the Liberal bills would make Canada the first member of the G7 to legalize marijuana for recreational use across the country.

The new legislation will prohibit the marketing of pot to appeal to youth, prohibit sales through self-service displays or vending machines. As part of an overhaul of Canada's new impaired driving laws, it makes it illegal to drive within two hours of having an illegal level of drugs in the blood, with penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine to life imprisonment. The fines and penalties will depend on the level of drugs that are in the blood and whether someone was injured or killed as a result of the impairment.

The new measure does not prevent provinces from allowing sales at the same places where alcohol is sold. It will, however, prohibit tourists from bringing pot past the border, but allows visitors to use pot while in Canada. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould called it an important day and said that the new legislation aims to strike a balance between protecting minors and in keeping profits away from organized crime. The new proposal to legalize pot has been applauded by marijuana advocates but has also raised concerns from others about the potential rise in impaired driving and the effects on the mental health of young Canadians. This is just one of the new trending stories you will find on The Hill site. The site has all sorts of trending news stories, new trending videos, opinion and more. **


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