People in Canada could smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018.
The federal government intends to introduce legislation by April 20 to legalize pot, with the intention of the law being in place by Canada Day next year. The House isn’t sitting the week of April 20, so that likely means it will be introduced the week of April 10.
The Liberals promised during the election to legalize marijuana. The planned legislation follows a detailed report prepared by a task force led by former justice minister Anne McLellan.
The news is met with skepticism by the Wall government. It released the following statement Monday:
Today’s announcement by the federal government raises more questions than it answers. While the federal government seems happy to establish the date that marijuana must be legal, it has offered nothing in the way of a pan-Canadian approach to regulation. This is a disappointing development that could lead to a patchwork approach from province to province, posing real challenges for enforcement.
We have not seen any analysis on potential revenue, as we anticipated that would be driven by whatever framework the federal government proposed.
We remain concerned about public safety on our roads and highways and in our workplaces. There will be increased enforcement costs to protect against marijuana-impaired driving and we have indicated to the federal government that we expect them to bear the full costs of any of those measures – whether technology or additional police officers – or both.