The Senate has voted to accept the latest version of the government’s long-debated legal marijuana legislation, paving the way for the bill to pass into Canadian law.
The Senate voted 52-29 to approve the government’s newest version of Bill C-45 on Tuesday evening.
Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, the final step in the legislative process. That could occur within days at the government’s discretion. The government’s desire to see home grown marijuana permitted across Canada eventually prevailed, and a proposal from the Senate to allow provinces and territories to ban them has been stripped from the final bill.
“We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition, that’s historic. It ends 90 years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health, and community health approaches in favour of ‘just say no.’ Approaches that simply failed our young people miserably,” independent Senator Tony Dean said after the vote.
But not all Senators were happy with it.
“This bill does not do what the overarching goal says it does, which is to reduce the marijuana use among young people,” Tory Senator Leo Housakos said. “The message for me is be very cautious, just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Educate yourself, and take cautious steps because what you do today will invariably have an impact on your life for years to come.”