World Media

Pot stocks sell off in wake of release of federal legislation

Pot stocks sell off in wake of release of federal legislation

The Liberal government introduced long-awaited legislation Thursday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but numerous finer points and logistical questions remain unanswered or up in the air.

At a news conference attended by the various ministries affected by the proposed law, former Toronto police chief and current Liberal Member of Parliament Bill Blair called legalized pot a way of "protecting children and making our communities safer".

The law would increase penalties for those who sell to children, and revamp impaired driving laws to make it easier to prosecute people who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Prime Minister Trudeau's cannabis legislation would allow adults 18 or over to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public.

If all this sound like a hassle and you just want to stay home, you could grow your own pot - each household will be allowed up to four plants, not to be taller than one metre in height.

The Canadian Cannabis Act sets out a penalty of up to 14 years in jail for those caught smuggling marijuana into the U.S.

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The long-standing prohibition on pot in Canada has been an "abject failure", with police forces spending upwards of $3 billion a year trying to stamp out cannabis use among some of the heaviest users in the western world, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. But when Mr. Trudeau's bill passes as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product.

Licensed Canadian producers grow for the medical marijuana market but most are jockeying to enter the lucrative recreational retail sector. Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Public Safety would be responsible for enforcing the regulations.

According to reports, the federal government of Canada has stipulated that the buyer of marijuana must be at least 18 years old.

"We are moving from a prohibitive regime to a regulated regime", said a senior federal official.

He has also said that his late brother Michel was facing marijuana possession charges for a "tiny amount" of pot before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that this influenced his decision to propose legalizing cannabis.

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Indeed, there's plenty to look forward to with legalizing marijuana in Canada, and new companies will no doubt be chomping at the bit to get in on the action.

The main goal, the government said, is to control the production, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana, and keep it out of the hands of criminal organizations.

"The proposed legislation, which is introduced today, seeks to legalise, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis", said Bill Blair, the MP who is set to lead the government's plans for legalisation.

She said: "One in seven youths who have used cannabis will develop an addiction to cannabis and that impacts your life, schooling, job prospects, social and emotional relationships".

No matter where it's sold, customers still would not be allowed to bring marijuana products back to the United States under any circumstances. In provinces that fail to regulate marijuana, residents will be able to purchase from federally regulated distributers over the Internet.

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