OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada is legalizing pot: the Senate has voted 52 to 29 to approve the Cannabis Act tonight in Ottawa.
“I think it’s a great day for Canada,” says Senator Tony Dean, the bill’s sponsor.
The legislation was first introduced more than 14 months ago, and it’s winning day for Dean.
“It ends 90 years of needless criminalization. It ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health.”
The Prime Minister is also weighing via Twitter, saying it’s too easy for kids to get a hold of pot and for criminals to cash in on it. Justin Trudeau says that will change.
The leg had been tossed back and forth between the House and the Senate over a series of amendments, including an attempt to allow provinces to ban home growing, although that had failed.Quebec and Manitoba had already decided to ban home cultivation despite the fact the federal bill says Canadians may grow up to four plants per dwelling.
Just because the bill passed, it doesn’t mean its legal to buy or smoke pot just yet. The federal government is giving provinces and territories a two to three month transition period to prepare, meaning official legalization should take effect in mid-September.
An official date has yet to be set.
Public Safety Minister says BC is ready for legal pot
BC’s Public Safety Minsiter and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says now that the bill has finally passed, provinces and territories can look forward to what the “official regulations” will be.
“The province will be ready, we’ll have our framework in place. Once C-45 has been given royal assent then we will have the time to ensure that the federal regulations are in place in terms of what it means for the province,” he says.
“So that’s critical. The fact that that’s done means now we can move ahead with some of the key aspects with provincial legislation.”
Farnworth says there’s still a lot of work ahead for the province, adding Bill C-46, the drug impaired driving legislation has to be passed as well.
“The province has been training police officer in the use of drug impaired technology and getting ready for it, but there’s a lot of questions that we’re still waiting for answer from the federal government.”
He says the passing of C-45 gives BC a more solid foundation to work from, but it likely won’t be smooth sailing whenever pot is officially legal.
“The fact of the matter is that is it’s going to take two to three years before we see a fully implemented legalization system with all the kinks and all the issues ironed out. This is a huge change in public policy but we will certainly be ready for the legalization date and it’ll continue to evolve from that.”