Cannabis becomes legal in Canada

18 Octobre, 2018, 19:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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He and his friend Alex Lacrosse were smoking when two police officers walked by.

If you feel confused about the rules for using, buying, growing or doing anything with cannabis, you are not alone.

At least 111 legal pot shops are planning to open across the nation of 37 million people on the first day.

Cannabis was added to global drug legislation in 1925, but Canada acted two years earlier, making it one of the first countries to make cannabis illegal.

Ian Power and Nikki Rose were the first to make historic inaugural purchases. "We believe this is the first step toward the establishment of cannabis as a key functional ingredient touching multiple consumer categories".

"I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall".

"Canada is setting a strong example for how to end marijuana prohibition at the national level and replace it with a system of regulated production and sales that is largely governed at the local level", Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement released earlier this week. He was cheered by the crowd waiting in line.

Mr Trudeau has defended the change by arguing it will better protect children from cannabis by placing sale in a legal framework, while taking profits away from criminals.

But the waiting period and the $631 cost of applying for a pardon, known as a record suspension, have proven hard for some people saddled with records. In 2003, former prime minister Jean Chrétien and his government tried to decriminalize simple possession charges, but this also failed.

Canada legalised medical marijuana in 2001, and many in the industry spent the last days of prohibition completing displays, holding mock openings and training employees to use sales-tracking software.

The stores have a sterile look, like a modern clinic, with a security desk to check identification. The products are displayed in plastic or cardboard packages behind counters.

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Then it came time to actually buy products.

Public health spokesperson Chuck Ferguson said there is a lot of misinformation about cannabis - these videos and links are created to clear the air for both youth and parents. Our website is experiencing some heavy traffic.

Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while other provinces have made it 19.

Private store licenses will only be issued after legalization, the province's Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said.

With its shiny white countertops, glowing white lights and touchscreen browsing computers, the BC Cannabis Store at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre has drawn comparisons to a spa or an Apple Store location.

The federal government and many provinces have been cautious, starting with limited stores and products, including no edible pot for a year, and tight control over supply. Some provinces have gone for a mix of both.

Marijuana became legal in Canada on Wednesday, and authorities are still trying to get used to it.

California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the U.S. biggest legal marijuana marketplace at the start of the year.

"Instead, we have a government scrambling to pass laws for a substance that is already legal", she said, adding that the government had chose to focus on other issues over the past months, such as Ford's move to slash the size of Toronto's city council.

Even those who admit to smoking marijuana in Canada could be deemed inadmissible.

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