Feds Introduce Bill to Legalize and Regulate Pot
Prince George, B.C. – It’s a long way from being enacted into law, but the federal government has finally introduced legislation that would provide regulated and restricted access to pot while cracking down on impaired driving.
The government says it was done “after extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts and the hard work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.”
“The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada,” says the government in a statement. “Following Royal Assent, the proposed legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis.”
This means possession of small amounts of pot would no longer be a criminal offence – and the government argues – would prevent profits landing in the hands of criminals.
The Bill would also, for the first time, make it a criminal offence to sell pot to a minor and create penalties for those who engage youth in pot-related offences.
The Bill would also toughen the laws around alcohol and drug impaired driving with new offences being added to enforce a zero-tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of pot and other drugs.
The new law would also authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body.
The Bill proposes that pot sales be restricted to people18-years-old or older. Provinces and territories could increase the minimum legal age.
The government expects the law to be in place no later than July 2018.