09:19 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, October 25, 2016.

    Canadian Prime Minister Says Marijuana Will Be Legal Nationwide Starting October

    © REUTERS / Chris Wattie
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    On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that marijuana will become legal nationwide starting October 17. Canada’s Senate passed the federal government’s bill to legalize marijuana nationwide Tuesday.

    Although Trudeau's government had hoped to legalize pot nationwide by July 1, the government announced Tuesday that it will take several weeks for provincial and territorial governments to prepare for retail sales.

    The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29, ABC News reported Wednesday.

    The move will make Canada the second country in the world to legalize cannabis nationwide for medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. Each Canadian province will publish its own regulations regarding cannabis trade. The new legislation will allow Candian adults to legally possess and use up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public spaces. In addition, the law will allow Candian adults to grow up to four cannabis plants at home.

    Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana nationwide. Uruguay's House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill legalizing and regulating the production and sale of marijuana in 2013. The law allows the sale of marijuana to registered Uruguayan citizens and permanent residents and allows the growing of cannabis at home.

    "We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn't worked," said Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the upper house, AP reported Wednesday. 

    Following the passing of the bill, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted that it was a "historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis."

    Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor tweeted: "We're on the cusp of a sensible, responsible and equitable cannabis policy." 

    However, some Conservative senators still oppose the legislation.

    "We're going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporation," Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos said Wednesday, AP reported. "When you normalize the use of marijuana and you're a young person and you had certain reservations because of the simple fact that it was illegal, there's, I believe, a propensity to have somebody be more inclined to use it."


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