On April 20th, or 4/20 – the annual day of celebration in cannabis culture, Canada’s Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that the Liberal government plans to table legislation to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana by Spring of 2017. The announcement was made during a United Nations General Assembly on drug use, drug-related crime and global drug policy. Health Minister Philpott acknowledged that the Liberal’s plan “challenges the status quo in many countries”, but stated that we are all ultimately working for the same shared objective: to protect our citizens.
The Liberals’ new drug policy will place greater emphasis on the impacts of drug use, rather than focusing on drug use as a crime. Philpott said that she is proud to stand for a new policy that is informed by “solid scientific evidence” and “uses a lens of public health to maximize education and minimize harm.”
The government will appoint a task force led by former Toronto Police Chief, Bill Blair, to study the legalization of marijuana in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, experts, and the public.
Canadian cannabis lovers should note that marijuana use is still illegal until that promised legislation is enacted.