Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada as of Oct. 17.
Trudeau made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons, which is expected to rise for the summer break after today.
He says the government has delayed the legalization schedule in order to give the provinces and territories more time to implement their regimes.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to end its opposition to certain aspects of the federal bill, most notably the plan to permit Canadians to cultivate marijuana plants at home. A proposed Senate amendment would have prevented legal challenges to their constitutional right to do so.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould called the legislation — which still requires royal assent to become law — “transformative” and predicted it would protect young people and keep organized crime out of the pot market.
But she’s reminding Canadians that until it goes into effect, recreational marijuana remains illegal, as is driving while impaired.
Bill C-46, a companion bill that Wilson-Raybould predicts will give Canada the strongest impaired-driving rules in the world, will also become law “in the near future,” she said.
Until then, “I would like to also remind the public that driving while impaired by drugs is, and will remain, illegal.