Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 22, 2018
Justin Trudeau says pot will be legal as of Oct. 17, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting on Oct. 17, 2018 — many months later than the government’s initial target date.
“One of the things that we heard very clearly from the provinces is that they need a certain amount of time to get their bricks and mortar stores — their online sales — ready. Producers need time to be able to actually prepare for a regimented and successful implementation of the regime … This is something that we want to get right,” Trudeau told reporters at a press conference held today before the House of Commons rises for its summer recess.
“By giving the provinces more time to ensure that they are fully ready for the day of coming into force of this legislation, it will be a smooth success in all the ways that we can hope for.”
While the federal government was responsible for the bill that will ultimately legalize recreational marijuana possession, home growing and sales to adults — by dismantling key aspects of the Criminal Code that ensured prohibition for 95 years — the practical details of implementing legalization have been left largely to the provinces and territories.
As is common in the Canadian system of federalism, each province has taken a different approach — and some are more prepared than others. New Brunswick, for example, has already built its first retail storefront, while Nunavut only passed its legal framework on Tuesday.
The government has long said there would be a buffer of eight to 12 weeks between the bill’s passage and full legalization to allow provinces to get their systems up and running to sell recreational marijuana from storefronts. (Source: CBC)