Canada’s Liberal government will introduce legislation to decriminalise and regulate recreational marijuana in spring 2017, according to the health minister, Jane Philpott.
The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, promised during last year’s election campaign that his government would legalise recreational marijuana, following the US states of Washington and Colorado, but the time frame has been unclear.
“We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem.“Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, the government’s point man on legalisation, has emphasised that current laws that make marijuana illegal remain in effect.
Medical marijuana is a separate issue from recreational marijuana in Canada and is already legal.
Canada’s medical marijuana growers say a jump in the number of illegal marijuana dispensaries as the federal government decides how to regulate the drug is costing them customers.