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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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How Canada’s Marijuana Laws Could Change Under Justin Trudeau

One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most controversial party platforms was the legalization of marijuana. Now that Trudeau is officially in power, many are wondering how the new leader of the nation will actually go about making cannabis in Canada entirely legal.

While it is impossible to predict exactly what the Prime Minister and his cabinet will propose, based on previous statements and existing structures in other nations, one can paint a picture of just how Canada’s marijuana laws may change in the coming years.

Perhaps the best example of what Canada with legalized marijuana could look like is the state of Colorado. Trudeau has stated several times how he may be inspired by the “Colorado model” when creating the nation’s new stance on cannabis, a system that doesn’t require any official permission to carry, purchase, or grow marijuana.

In Colorado, as long as an individual is over 21 years of age, they can have up to one ounce or marijuana or THC-products on themselves at any time. This regulation applies to non-citizens as well. Growing cannabis is also acceptable, with a limit of six marijuana plants per person, with a total of 12 per residence.

Prohibited under the Colorado model is the smoking of marijuana in any public spaces, much like cigarettes, as is “driving under the influence.” Anyone caught with THC in their system while driving, or with an open cannabis container, can be pulled over and charged.

What will likely be quite different in Canada is how marijuana is sold to citizens. In all likelihood, this will vary per province, much like how alcohol is regulated now. Of course, provincial governments will need to decide if a Crown corporation will be set up to regulate the sale of marijuana, which could result in vastly different approaches throughout Canada.

No matter how Trudeau and Canada’s provincial leaders go about the legalization of marijuana, one guarantee is the taxation of cannabis. The Canadian government will not be passing on the chance to create a form of revenue from a regulated substance; a tax on marijuana is perhaps the only definite reality when it comes to Cannabis in Canada.

Featured image courtesy of: Wikimedia

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A Poll On Canada’s Marijuana Laws

Support for decriminalization of marijuana has increased dramatically over the past 25 years in Canada.

More than two-thirds of Canadians want marijuana laws softened according to an opinion poll conducted by the federal government and Ipsos Reid which surveyed 3,000 people and was commissioned by the Department of Justice.

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