Article by The Canadian Press via CBC News
Senators have voted to pass the Trudeau government’s landmark legislation to lift Canada’s 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis by a vote of 56 to 30 with one abstention.
Despite the resolute opposition of the 32 Conservative senators, and trepidation among some independent senators, Bill C-45 now moves back to the House of Commons.
MPs there will now have to decide what to do about the the almost four dozen amendments to Bill C-45 that were made in the Senate.The government will have to decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning the bill back to the Senate for another vote.
Health Minister Petitpas Taylor has said that, once the bill is passed, provinces and territories will need two to three months to prepare before retail sales of legal cannabis are actually available.
Most of the Senate’s amendments are minor, but a handful are significant. One amendment would allow provinces to prohibit home cultivation of cannabis if they so choose, rather than accept the four marijuana plants per dwelling allowed under the bill.
Another amendment would impose even more stringent restrictions on advertising by cannabis companies, preventing them from promoting their brands on so-called ‘swag’, such as T-shirts and ball caps.
Yet another is aimed at recognizing that marijuana is often shared socially. It would make it a summary or ticketing offence for a young adult to share five grams or less of cannabis with a minor who is no more than two years younger, and it would allow parents to share it with their kids, as they can wine or other forms of alcohol.