March 28th is Weed Appreciation Day (apparently) and Trudeau marked the occasion by making an important announcement about the legalization of recreational weed in Canada yesterday.
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are finally introducing legislation to make recreational marijuana legal across the country in time for Canadians to celebrate Canada’s 151st birthday next year, in 2018.
Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal government will lay out plans to legalize the drug next month, as early as April 10, but some are speculating it’ll probably be announced on 4/20…heh, heh. The law would give power to each province to establish market prices, while making the federal government responsible for the drug’s safety. Canadians will also be allowed to grow marijuana at home, with up to four plants per household.
The legislation is expected to sail through Parliament with little opposition, since it has broad support from the left and right. Before news of the Liberal legislation broke, Trudeau and his party were facing criticism from the left-leaning New Democrats Party (NDP) for running a “cynical campaign” in 2015, when Trudeau promised to make recreational marijuana legal if elected, and then not really doing much about it. The NDP charges that Trudeau used recreational marijuana as a hook to catch youth voters during the election. Trudeau has recently been accused of similar deceit with feminism and women voters.
Interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose surprised many Canadians when she said legalizing recreational marijuana was necessary to regulate pot to keep kids from buying it illegally from prescription dispensaries. The federal government would set the legal minimum age to purchase pot at 18, though provinces could set a higher limit.
Dispensaries in Toronto, Vancouver, and other cities have already been selling marijuana to those who have a prescription for well over a year. Dispensaries offer appointments with a doctor who can write a prescription to sooth common ailments like anxiety, sleep issues, low libido and poor appetite.
A report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer released last fall suggested that the change will lead to about $618 million in taxes when first enacted and is expected to eventualy generate $5 Billion in tax revenue for the federal government. Trudeau has said that the money raised should go toward drug education, addiction programs, and mental health support.
The majority of Canadians feel that recreational marijuana should be legalized.