Don’t Hold Your Breath: Fully Legalized Pot Could Still be Years Away

Article by Peter Zimonjic, CBC News

Legislation to make pot legal will hit the House of Commons come spring, but the day when recreational marijuana becomes officially available to buy across the country could still be years away.

“I think one of the things we were struck by was how complex this transition actually is, and not only in terms of drafting legislation at the federal and provincial levels and putting in place all the infrastructure and training, but the psychological transition,” former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton.

“Going from something that has been prohibited for decades, to a world where it’s a legalized product, sold in a regulated market — so the transition is going to be enormous,” said McLellan, the chair of the federal government’s cannabis task force.

The Department of Justice Canada will first have to embark on a widespread effort to change the Criminal Code and other related federal laws — that effort will kick off in the spring. But what that new law will look like and what kinds of challenges it will face as it moves through Parliament remain a mystery for now.

“This is just the task force report. I mean, obviously it should be influential, but the government could go in a different direction,” said Eugene Oscapella, professor of law at the University of Ottawa.

Read full article here.

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