NewsAlert: Liberals introduce long-awaited bill to legalize marijuana

 
It's nothing short of a sea change in public policy, one with profound implications for everything from Canadian culture and health to border security, road safety and even international relations: legalizing marijuana. Two people hold a modified design of

The Canadian Press


OTTAWA - The federal Liberal government has finally launched its long-awaited effort to legalize recreational marijuana, setting in motion a host of sweeping policy changes for public safety and health across Canada.

The suite of bills was introduced today in the House of Commons by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

The bills are sure to come under heavy scrutiny in the coming weeks and months as Ottawa and the provinces and territories hash out the finer jurisdictional details of major issues like distribution and law enforcement.

The federal plan also contains efforts to promote drug education — part of the Liberal pledge to try and make the drug less accessible to youth.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says criminalizing cannabis has not deterred use among young people, noting products like alcohol and tobacco are legally available with restrictions.

Once passed, the Liberal bills introduced today would make Canada the first member of the G7 to legalize marijuana for recreational use across the country.

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© The Canadian Press , 2017