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In spite of growing calls for delaying marijuana legalization, from senators, Indigenous Leaders, and others, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t backing down from his timeline. With Bill C-45, the federal Canadian marijuana bill, he intends to make recreational and medical marijuana legal come late Summer.
His vocalization of remaining firm on his timeline comes after comments he made suggesting he was open to slowing down the process. He made these comments after a committee reports demanding further consultation with First Nations people on taxation, education materials, and addiction treatments.
Trudeau claims each day marijuana is illegal, Canadians are suffering as a result. This is proof the current system is broken, he says. He urges legalization as it will take control from criminals and drug dealers over the product. He also reminds critics legalization is a multi-step process.
The new law will continue to be molded and define with the aid of provinces, municipalities, and Indigenous leaders to assure the law is properly implemented. Trudeau stated:
We’re going to continue to move forward. We’re going to bring in legalization as we’ve committed to, this summer, on schedule….Right now young people have far too easy access to marijuana. We need to move forward on a system that controls and regulates while protecting our kids and our communities”
Some provinces, however, have raised concerns when it comes to Trudeau’s legalization plans. There is particular concern around “human cultivation.” Bill C-45 would make it legal for Canadians to grow four cannabis plants in their homes. Provinces and authorities would be able to impose their own limits. Manitoba and Quebec say they plan to forbid home cultivation of any kind.
In an attempt to ease concerns, Trudeau told critics the federal government’s decisions that formulated the bill were developed over a span of years. Over those years, governmental officials and Trudeau consulted experts on the most effective ways to get criminal activity out of marijuana sales.
Trudeau is willing to look at the solutions of other countries, like Portugal, where he recently visited. Portugal now treats drugs users as people who require mental and physical care rather than as criminals. Trudeau, however, says his government is in no way interested in legalizing other illicit street drugs.