The House of Commons has passed legislation that would legalize recreational use of cannabis in Canada.
The plan by the federal government to legalize marijuana is moving forward as Bill C-45 received final approval yesterday in the House of Commons, passing by a vote of 200-82. The bill now however must get passed by the Senate.
Conservative senators are threatening to hold up its passage which potentially could stall things for the government’s timelines which are to have pot legalized by next summer.
There has also been some pushback by certain provinces regarding the legislation as they say they need more time to get ready but a Conservative bid to force a delay in its implementation was defeated by a vote of 199-83.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Commons approval of Bill C-45 marks an “important milestone” in the government’s plans to keep pot profits out of the hands of organized crime and marijuana out of the hands of kids.”
The federal NDP supports the government’s legislation, which was amended to scrap a requirement that home-grown marijuana plants be less than 100 centimetres tall and to require that legislation for cannabis edibles and concentrates be brought forward within a year.
BOTTOM LINE: It’ s now up to the Senate. The Independent Senators Group controls 39 votes in the Red Chamber, followed by the Conservatives with 34 and the Senate Liberals with 15. Althought it is uncertain what the outcome will be, many expect the legislation will still move forward and the deadline is not until July.
Summary of Bill C-45 from openparliament.ca
This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.
The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.
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