Canadian lawmakers are on the verge of making an important announcement about weed. According to new reports, the government is going to announce legislation that will make weed fully legal by July 1, 2018. So far, they haven’t said exactly how it’ll happen. But during the week of April 10, the government will unveil its new plans.
An Official Announcement?
To be clear, Canadian lawmakers haven’t actually made any changes yet. But sources in Canada learned that an official announcement about legalization will come in early April.
Although the government hasn’t changed anything yet, this is still a big deal. That’s because April 10 is now the week that Canadian lawmakers are supposed to kickstart a concrete plan for changing cannabis laws. The ultimate goal is to get weed fully legal no later than July 1, 2018.
Here’s how the new weed laws will look:
- The federal government will oversee production, regulation, and testing of all cannabis products.
- The federal government will be in charge of issuing all licenses to producers.
- Provinces will figure out how cannabis will be distributed and sold at the local level.
- Individual provinces can also set the prices for cannabis products.
- The federal government said no one younger than 18 will be allowed to buy weed. But provinces can raise the minimum age if they want to.
- Canadians who want to grow their own weed will be allowed to cultivate four plants per household.
A Long Time Coming
This new development is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it could demonstrate that progress is being made. But on the other hand, it’s still not anything concrete.
And the Canadian government has been promising concrete action for a long time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked a lot about legalization during his campaign back in 2015. After taking office, he said he wanted to legalize it by April 20, 2017. And at first, it looked like he might make it happen.
In December of that year, Trudeau took what appeared to be his first step toward legalization. He put health minister Jane Philpott in charge of a committee to strategize how to get weed legalized.
But then things slowed down. In early 2016, there was talk of unexpected roadblocks. Experts said that if Canada legalized cannabis, it would violate a number of international treaties.
That was followed up by a series of raids throughout the summer of 2016. During those months, dispensaries in cities like Toronto were busted by law enforcement.
All of that seemed to bog down the country’s progress toward legalization. And clearly, with April 20 only a month away, Trudeau won’t come through on his first promise.
The Final Hit: Will Canadian Lawmakers Deliver?
When 4/20 hits next month, cannabis will still be illegal in Canada. But if all goes according to plan, there will finally be actual legislation on the table.
So even though weed will still be illegal, Canadian smokers will have a lot to celebrate this 4/20. By then, there should be concrete, official plans for legalization. And those plans should have a clear deadline in place.
If the government delivers, next month will mark the first real steps to following through on Trudeau’s promises.