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Justin Trudeau Agrees With Minimum Age Of 18 To Buy Marijuana

Justin Trudeau thinks that those 18 and up should be able to buy marijuana legally.

Advocates for marijuana’s legalization have long argued that the drug should be regulated like alcohol. Now, it appears they gained an ally in the country’s Prime Minister.

At a press conference last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he agreed that those allowed to drink legally be permitted to smoke marijuana as well.

Trudeau’s statement comes in response to a recommendation made by a federal task force. In a report on marijuana legalization, the task force recommended that 18 should be the minimum age to buy recreational marijuana. However, 18 does not represent legal drinking age across all provinces. Therefore, the task force also recommended that provinces make its marijuana laws coincide with their legal drinking age.

Of course, the task force’s recommendation earned its fair share of detractors. The Canadian Medical Association argued the minimum age to buy marijuana should be 21. Evidence shows that the brain is still developing until one turns 25, making marijuana usage beforehand potentially unsafe.

Trudeau argued that a minimum age of 18 would still ensure marijuana stays away from children and prevents criminals from reaping its profits. In French, Trudeau stated: “We know the largest misdeeds of marijuana use happens at a lower age than 18, 19 years of age, and I think this is a responsible approach that we have found in terms of balance that is both practical and useful.”

The task force conceded that no universal consensus exists on the minimum age to purchase marijuana.  In addition, according to the task force, increasing the minimum age comes with multiple drawbacks. On one hand, an age set too high makes it likely that people will still buy marijuana illicitly. Moreover, an overly high minimum age makes it likelier that the government will criminally prosecute young people. The highest rates of marijuana usage occur between the 18 to 24 bracket, so an ideal minimum age would factor in that statistic. Going on that logic, then, the report also argued that a minimum age of 25 remains unrealistic. Ultimately, a minimum age that reaches too high would make marijuana users continue to buy the drug illegally.

For more on this story, visit The Huffington Post.

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Canadian Courts Threaten Action Against Federal Government

Following the federal government’s decision to force courts to go through Shared Services Canada for all their IT purchases which could compromise independence, the Supreme Court is readying itself to take on the government in a legal battle.

The Supreme Court could also be joined by the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, Court Martial Appeal Court and Tax Court in the constitutional challenge that could see purchases of servers, routers and legal software all vetted by the federal government.

The courts all had autonomy when it came to these kinds of purchases until September 1, when the rule was implemented and the courts became a client of the government’s IT department, Shared Services Canada. This department’s main focus is overseeing purchasing and digital services of the top 43 IT-consumers in the government.

The Conservative government approved this change in May of last year, with the intent of saving money, because Shared Services can purchase in bulk, and also to increase security, because the department also makes an extra effort to purchase from safe suppliers only.

But after Prime Minister Trudeau took office, he raised concerns that this kind of government involvement in the court would infringe on their independence. He was also warned by the courts that if the cabinet decision is not reversed, they will take legal action. Now, Trudeau’s government must decide what they will do with the implemented IT control, and how they will quell the concerns of the most powerful court in the country.

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Canada Could See Legalization Of Marijuana Under Trudeau

Justin Trudeaus Libera

Could marijuana be legalized in Canada under Justin Trudeau’s leadership? Some legal experts think yes.

Trudeau’s government made a pledge to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.” With his win in the election last month, many are now expecting to see changes surrounding the legality of marijuana usage.

The loosening of restrictions surrounding marijuana laws in the United States — as well as other countries around the world — could increase the likelihood of Trudeau’s government following suit. Other jurisdictions that have changed their marijuana laws could serve as a model for success, and provide an example for the how the Liberal government can implement similar marijuana laws in Canada.

In Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Washington D.C, recreational marijuana use is legal.

On November 4, Trudeau will name his cabinet, with the new justice minister likely to become responsible for overseeing the party’s reforms. The Liberals had pledged to form a federal-provincial task force. According to their platform, after hearing from experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement, the task force would create a system of marijuana sales and distribution, with federal and provincial taxes applied.

Bevor he was elected, Trudeau said his government would learn from how jurisdictions have legalized marijuana — taking note of what has worked and what hasn’t — and work with individual provinces to create the best system going forward.

 Some legal experts claim it could take only a year for the country to see new marijuana laws come into effect. Others, however, aren’t so sure: it could be a lengthy process to understand what kind of issues have arisen in jurisdictions such as Colorado and Washington after marijuana was legalized, and how to prevent them in the future.
Moreover, how much revenue both the federal and provincial government could gain from the legalization of marijuana remains to be seen. In their four-year projections in their election platform, the Liberals did not account for any revenue from marijuana taxes. While not discounting the possibility for revenue upon marijuana’s legalization, Trudeau had explained he wasn’t sure the rate that the government wanted to tax marijuana, and when exactly it would be legalized.
For more on this story, visit The Toronto Star.
Featured image source: CBC
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