Article by Daniel LeBlanc, The Globe and Mail
The federal government has been scrambling to draft legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, hoping to have a bill in place ahead of the symbolic date of April 20, sources said.
A senior federal official said preparing the legislation has exposed a number of divisions on key issues between the Health, Justice and Public Safety departments, requiring federal lawyers to work overtime to find the appropriate legal language to express the government’s final intentions.
The government is hoping to legalize pot by July 1, 2018, CBC News reported Sunday night.
The governing Liberals used last year’s 4/20 celebrations – festivals held annually across the country in which marijuana enthusiasts publicly light up – to announce that they would table their legislation this spring. The government is now hoping to table the long-awaited bill in less than a month, ahead of that same date this year, sources said.
This would entail introducing the legislation in the week of April 10, as the House will be on break during the actual celebrations of April 20 the following week.
Another senior official said there are still “lots of moving parts” as the government tackles complex issues such as whether to allow home production of small amounts of marijuana and the best way to crack down on drug-impaired drivers.