20 June 2018
Canada Just Legalised Cannabis.
How Soon Will the UK Follow?
Earlier this morning the Canadian Senate voted in favour of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, the last parliamentary step needed to legally regulate cannabis for adult use. UK-based think-tank, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, advised the Federal task force and gave evidence to both Houses of the Canadian Parliament.
Welcoming the new cannabis law, Transform’s Head of Campaigns Martin Powell said:
“Canada just made history. All drugs carry risks and that’s why they have put in place age controls, to reduce availability to young people. And licensed producers and vendors, to cut income for organised crime and end the violence associated with the illegal market.
The tide has turned. It is now just a question of how soon the UK follows suit, so that we too put government, not gangsters in control of the production and supply of cannabis.”
“The sky won’t fall, it will brighten. Where legal regulation has been tried, it is delivering healthier and safer communities.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted the passage of the new law:
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept” https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/1009227308216045568
Martin Powell, Head of Campaigns, 0787 567 9301 email@example.com
Danny Kushlick, Head of External Affairs, 07970 174 747, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
1. Transform Drug Policy Foundation is a UK based think tank and charity advocating for the legal regulation of drugs www.tdpf.org.uk
2. 29 US states have some form of legalised cannabis. Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalised recreational use of cannabis. That is roughly 190 million people, or slightly more than six times Canada’s population, with legal access to some form of cannabis.
3. Opening statement by Transform’s Steve Rolles, to the Canadian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee - on cannabis regulation and the UN drug treaties - https://www.tdpf.org.uk/blog/opening-statement-steve-rolles-canadian-senate-foreign-affairs-committee-cannabis-regulation
4. This legislation follows an electoral commitment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party to legalise and regulate cannabis to protect young people, promote public health and deter criminal activity. The Cannabis Act allows adults to legally possess and use small amounts of recreational cannabis, as well as grow at home for personal use.
It sets out a strict regulatory framework for the production, possession, safety standards, distribution, and sale of cannabis. It also creates new criminal offences for selling cannabis to children. It will be illegal for anyone younger than 18 to purchase cannabis, but allows for provinces and territories to set a higher minimum age. It will be legal to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per household. It will be another 8 – 12 weeks before licensed retailers will be established to start selling cannabis.
5. Health Canada FAQ on the ‘Cannabis Act’ - https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/introduction-cannabis-act-questions-answers.html