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Canada To Legalize Marijuana, Bill Goes To Senate

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Recreational marijuana use is a step closer to being legal in Canada, after the House of Commons approved the Cannabis Act on Monday. The legislation is now in the Senate, where it has been the subject of debate and proposed amendments.

“The Senate had proposed 46 amendments to The Cannabis Act but the Liberal government rejected several major ones last week,” the CBC reports, “including one provision that would have affirmed the provinces’ right to ban home cultivation of marijuana.”

A reminder: In Canada’s parliamentary system, the House of Commons is the more powerful of the two chambers. The Senate, whose members are appointed rather than elected, plays a somewhat controversial role and is often the subject of talk about reform — similar to Britain’s House of Lords.

Canada’s minister of justice sponsored the cannabis bill; the government announced its push for legalization last spring with an official news release that stated, “The current approach to cannabis does not work.”

The government said that making marijuana illegal “has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth.”

It added, “In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.”

Those points were echoed by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last fall, when he welcomed the news that the bill was making its way to the Senate.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621422290/canadas-house-votes-to-legalize-marijuana-sending-bill-to-senate

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