After passing the Canadian Senate last Thursday with 44 Senators in favor and 29 against, famed marijuana Bill C-45 has leaped over another hurdle. This latest development has ensured the legislation will stay on course toward ending more than 90 years of cannabis prohibition in the Great White North.
As the Trudeau Government fights its way toward the upcoming provincial elections, it seems at least one of the Liberals’ major campaign promises will be kept, as marijuana is still on-track to be legalized nationwide this summer.
Originally the plan was to have legal weed available by July, but the bureaucratic process inevitably took longer. One of the more significant delays was due to the notable opposition Bill C-45 faced in the Senate from Conservative senators. In the end, those against the bill may have slowed the process but not the momentum, as the passed legislation is now heading to the committee stage.
“We’re working closely with the Senate and we feel confident, at this time, in that timeline of end of summer that we’re going to see a regime that will control and legalize cannabis,” said Mark Holland, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Public Safety.
Holland also pushed back at critics and senators who have stated this is all happening too fast.
“It is a massive problem on our streets and our police are absolutely ill-equipped to handle it,” he said. “Our cannabis rates are among the highest in the world. So we can put our head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, or we can turn the corner and finally start doing something about it.”
While the parliamentary process continues, individual provinces have been diligently incorporating a patchwork of laws and regulations. These directives have been met with open arms in some instances, such as the ability to grow four plants per household. In other cases, the proposals have been fraught with controversy, like the retail monopoly that has been announced by the government of Ontario.
Despite the bumpy road along the way, Canada is repatriating cannabis from coast to coast and in the process, righting what many would call an almost century-old wrong.