OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Senate will continue debate on the marijuana legalization bill today and we could see a final vote on the bill that is being tossed back and forth between the House of Commons and the Upper Chamber.
The House of Commons has rejected 13 amendments from the Senate, which now has to decide if it will give in to the will of the elected chamber or double down and send the bill back to the house insisting on the changes.
If it does accept the bill as is, then the legislation will finally pass and become law after royal assent.
Government House Leader Bardish Chagger says what happens next is up to the Senators.
“We’ve done what we need to do, and now the Senate will do what the Senate needs to do,” says Chagger.
“We know it’s important legislation, it’s a committment we’ve made to Canadians so we’d like to see it through.”
Peter Harder, the government’s representative in the senate says he is urging his colleagues not to fight the legislation any further and give in to the will of the elected house.
“It is entirely appropriate as an unelected body to defer and compliments to role the House of Commons plays.”
A vote on the main marijuana bill is expected later tonight after the Senate shot down the Conservative amendment insisting on allowing provincial bans for home growing.
Whenever the bill passes there will be a two to three month transition period before legalization takes effect–meaning if all goes as the government hopes–then Canadians will be allowed to legally purchase pot at some point between mid august and mid-September.
There isn’t, however, any official date.