Canada To Legalize Cannabis In Spring 2017
Legal cannabis is finally coming to Canada. In a recent speech in New York, given on April the 20th no less, Canada’s Heath Minister Jane Philpott announced the countries plans to introduce legislation that will see cannabis liberated throughout the country.
Acting as the leader of Canada’s delegation for the UN’s special session on drugs, Philpott took the opportunity to make Canada’s move against the status quo known.
"I am proud to stand up for our drug policy that is informed by solid scientific evidence and uses a lens of public health to maximize education and minimize harm," she said.
This new and rational approach will see cannabis become available for adults on both a recreational and medical level while still protecting those young and vulnerable within society.
"As a doctor, who has worked both in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa, I have seen too many people suffer the devastating consequences of drugs, drug-related crime, and ill-conceived drug policy. Fortunately, solutions are within our grasp."
It is the first step in the new progressive government’s aim to modernise its antiquated drug policy. Going forward, Canada will put emphasis on scientific evidence over political ideology, shifting the focus from retribution and prohibition to one of harm-reduction and social care.
In places that have already made the fundamental shift from a justice focus to one of health, such as Portugal, both drug-related crime and health issues are plummeting – all the while saving significant amounts of money.
Legislation is hoped to be introduced Spring 2017. A joint task force is being set up, headed by former police chief Bill Blair, to hammer out a system for the implementation of a regulated cannabis market.
It is refreshing to see; the cannabis legalisation movement is still moving forward with more and more weight behind it. Even though we have not seen the same here in the EU yet, people are easing up on cannabis – even in our more conservative countries. Let’s hope things continue to proceed smoothly.
Written by: Josh
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