Dozens of Senate Changes Won’t Slow Trudeau in Legalizing Weed

Article by Greg Quinn and Jen Skerritt, Bloomberg

Dozens of Senate Changes Won’t Slow Trudeau in Legalizing Weed By Greg Quinn and Jen Skerritt June 4, 2018, 1:51 PM EDT Canadian upper chamber expected to pass amended bill Thursday Changes mean bill returns to House of Commons before break. Marijuana plants grow at a facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Photographer: Trevor Hagan/Bloomberg

A Senate vote this week on dozens of amendments to a bill legalizing recreational marijuana probably won’t substantially delay Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s push to open the market this summer.

The amended bill — the Senate’s social affairs committee last week proposed 34 changes — is due for a final vote Thursday. It’s expected to pass with amendments, and would then go back to the House of Commons to consider those changes. There is some urgency, with the summer break approaching. Trudeau’s government is flexing its muscle, pledging pot will be legalized this summer and signaling lawmakers won’t adjourn until the bill is passed.

Canadian lawmakers wouldn’t adjourn for summer until the pot bill has concluded its parliamentary process, a senior government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. That means the Senate won’t be able to delay things until the fall by dragging its feet or digging in.

“We will create a controlled and legalized framework for marijuana before the end of the summer,” Trudeau said in a Bloomberg Businessweek Debrief interview in Toronto last week. Government ministers pushed for the vote in early June, because after the law passes it could take up to 12 weeks for the legal market to open.

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