The Canadian government [official website] on Thursday announced a plan [press release] to legal recreational use of marijuana by July 2018. Canada is set to implement this plan into law nationwide, though the government has stated that it would leave specific details, such as commercial regulations, up to each individual province. Proponents of the plan have stated [WP report] the measure is intended to limit adolescent drug use and take advantage of the profits that the black market is currently commanding. Marijuana legalization was a campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has received the support of not only the ruling Liberal party, but also from some of the country’s Conservative Party. The legislation would set a minimum purchasing age of 18. Individuals would be allowed to posses up to 30 grams for personal use as well as grow up to four marijuana plants in their household. Accompanying legislation to the bill would also increase penalties for driving under the influence. There are those that are skeptical of the ability for this bill to decrease underage use stating [News Herald report]: “Youth already think marijuana is harmless, and now we are giving them the government’s seal of approval.”
The use of legalization of marijuana has been an important issue for many countries around the world. In February the lower house of the Dutch parliament approved a bill [JURIST report] that would permit the cultivation of cannabis. In January Maine’s governor signed [JURIST report] a moratorium bill that delayed the legal sale of marijuana by retailers for one year, although still allowed the possession of marijuana for personal use by those 21 or older. In April Mexico’s president proposed [JURIST report] a bill relaxing laws on marijuana use. In December 2015 Colombia’s president legalized [JURIST report] medical marijuana. In June 2015 Canada’s top court lifted [JURIST report] a restriction that the only acceptable form of medical marijuana was smoking the dried plant.