Canada becomes 2nd nation in the world to legalize marijuana in violation of international law

Canada becomes 2nd nation in the world to legalize marijuana in violation of international law

On Tuesday, Canada became the second nation worldwide after Uruguay to legalize marijuana after both the Senate and the House of Commons approved Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act.  The new law now makes the sales, possession, and even home growing of cannabis legal throughout all provinces. Underage use is still prohibited, and the federal government will maintain oversight of all related licensing requirements and criminal sanctions processes.

Meanwhile, each province has the authority to impose harsher age restrictions and other regulations related to distribution, taxation, and sales, if desired.  Rollout of the new law is not expected to take effect for several months so that the government can have time to develop and implement the needed infrastructure to ensure a smooth transition.  According to CTV News, the anticipated rollout date is currently October 17

Canada legalization of marijuana violates international drug treaties

There are currently 29 states in the USA where medical marijuana is no longer considered contraband, seven of which also legalize marijuana for recreational use.  However, the federal statutes still consider cannabis to be a controlled substance and therefore illegal.  So, technically, these 29 states are breaking the law – federal law, that is.  So, how did we get to this point?

Part of the reason why the United States and other nations do not officially legalize marijuana at the federal level is due to their participation in international drug treaties that explicitly ban marijuana and other substances.   As recently as April 2016, the United Nations held hearings on these treaties in an attempt to redefine them to a more pot-friendly stance.  However, the discussions only led to deeper political divides.

Canada’s recent actions essentially put the country at odds with the rest of the world, but our friends to the North do not appear to be too concerned.  Marijuana legalization was one of the main campaign promises made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the 2015 election. 

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