Canada votes to legalize recreational marijuana

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The adoption in the Senate of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, means that a legal, multibillion-dollar industry is set to appear in Canada, which will join Uruguay as one of the few countries where cannabis is legal nationwide.

Canada is the first industrialized country to legalize cannabis nationwide.

Now there are nine states, including Washington DC, where it is legal for adult use. The Senate passage of the bill was the final hurdle in the process.

Canada has voted to legalise the recreational use of cannabis.

Trudeau's Cabinet is expected to decide a legalization date in early or mid-September.

Trudeau heralded the vote in a tweet, stating, "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits". "We would like to commend the fearless advocates who spent years building momentum for change...to all Canadians who participated in turning an idea into reality, this is your moment to celebrate".

The House of Commons voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by Senate, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose.

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"The legislation is transformative", said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, adding it "marks a wholesale shift in how our country approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of prohibition". "Canada's progress will galvanize support for drug policy reforms in the USA and all around the world".

Late Tuesday, the Canadian Senate passed the bill 52-29, which will allow citizens to buy, possess, consume and grow up to four plants per household.

The Netherlands in general, and Amsterdam in particular, have tolerated the sale and use of marijuana in iconic coffee shops since 1976.

Wilson-Raybould also stressed that while a companion bill to strengthen laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving (C-46) has not yet passed, driving while under the influence is already a criminal offence. Anyone found to be carrying more than this amount, or providing it to minors - anyone under the age of 18 or 19 depending on the province - will be breaking the law.

While Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said she was thrilled the Senate approved the bill, saying: "We're on the cusp of a sensible, responsible and equitable cannabis policy".

Worldwide drug treaties, which explicitly ban legalizing marijuana, technically prohibit Canada-and the USA -from taking these steps, reports Vox. Some provinces, like Ontario, are planning on provincially-run outlets, while others, like Alberta, will open up retail marijuana to the private sector.

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