This new bill would legalize weed in Canada

The proposed rules would take effect in July 2018 and allow Canadians to grow up to four plants in their home or to purchase dried flowers and other cannabis products from licensed shops.

The ruling Liberal party made legalization part of its successful 2015 election campaign and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has argued that it will keep marijuana out of the hands of underage users and reduce drug-related crime.

In spite of many lawmaker's enthusiasm for the proposed law, Canada's nation-wide legalization of recreational cannabis could conflict with global drug treaties which still ban the substance.

Eight states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, plus the District of Columbia, have voted to legalize and regulate cannabis for non-medical purposes.

The South American nation of Uruguay is the only nation to legalize recreational pot.

Under the current law that is still in force until the new bill passes all stages of parliamentary scrutiny, and is passed into law, a person found guilty of a first-time offence of possessing a small amount - 30 grams or less - of marijuana faces a maximum penalty of a fine up to $1,000, a six-month jail term, or both.

As Ottawa works toward squeezing out illegal producers of marijuana, federal officials are anxious that a shortage of cannabis would hurt their plans in the initial stages of legalization.

Since September, Canada has been pushing the USA to change a policy that bans Canadians who admit to having used marijuana from travelling to the United States. Canada legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1999, initially with strict controls, but the law was broadened over time.

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"We are not against legalization, we're just interested in making sure that thresholds and proper technologies are in place", Brulotte said, adding that the industry also wanted the right to perform random drug tests in the workplace.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will be among those at a news conference at 12 pm (EST) to talk about one of the most anticipated packages of legislation in recent memory.

The Canadian government closely followed the advice of a marijuana task force headed by former Liberal Health Minister Anne McLellan.

The federal government will provide minimum conditions, but the provinces could set more rules about distribution and sale on top of those.

Goodale said that Canadian officials have been in close touch with the USA government on the proposed law, and emphasized that exporting and importing marijuana will continue to be illegal.

But Goodale told reporters that Canada is hoping to convince the United States that the planned recreational marijuana regime in Canada "will better protect our kids and better stop the flow of illegal dollars to organized crime".

She said: "One in seven youths who have used cannabis will develop an addiction to cannabis and that impacts your life, schooling, job prospects, social and emotional relationships".

“With legalization in a growing number of our own states and now an entire major neighboring country ending prohibition, its going to be increasingly hard for drug warriors in the Trump administration to meaningfully roll back our gains, ” said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. "The laws of Canada are the responsibility of Canada".

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