Canada Just Ended Its 95-Year Ban on Cannabis

Canada Just Ended Its 95-Year Ban on Cannabis

'I'm feeling just great, ' said Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Canada has legalised the recreational use of marijuana, with the Cannabis Act passing its final hurdle on Tuesday. "Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate", Trudeau said in a tweet.

Peter Harder, the government's representative in the senate says he is urging his colleagues not to fight the legislation any further and give in to the will of the elected house.

MPs spent a portion of Monday and last week debating the Senate's amendments before 205 of them voted today in favour of rejecting 13 of the proposed changes. The Senate eventually deferred to the government's position of allowing Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants in their home.

The legislation - an electoral promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party - would allow adults in Canada to legally possess and use small amounts of recreational marijuana.

While Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said she was thrilled the Senate approved the bill, saying: "We're on the cusp of a sensible, responsible and equitable cannabis policy".

Vancouver, where the use of cannabis is legal for medicinal use, has a large number of marijuana stores, largely due to its closeness in proximity to Washington, an American state in which cannabis has been legal for a number of years.

Initially, the government had planned for the bill to be passed by both houses of Parliament in time for retail sales to begin by July 1. In the neighboring USA, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on January. It also said marijuana should not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

The legalization of marijuana in Canada has implications for cross-border relations with the United States.

Conservative MPs were largely opposed to the bill, with many pointing to concerns over rules around cultivating cannabis in one's home.

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