Canada legalises recreational cannabis use

Canada’s parliament has passed a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.

The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold.

Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally as early as this September.

The country is the second worldwide to legalize the drug’s recreational use.

Uruguay became the first country to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use in December 2013, while a number of US states have also voted to permit it.

Cannabis possession first became a crime in Canada in 1923 but medical use has been legal since 2001.

How will legal marijuana in Canada work?

It is likely that by mid-September, Canadians will be able to buy cannabis and cannabis oil grown by licensed producers at various retail locations.

Canadians across the country will also be able to order the drug online from federally licensed producers and grow up to four plants at home.

Adults will be able to possess up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried cannabis in public.

Edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, will not be immediately available for purchase but will be within a year of the bill coming into force. The delay is meant to give the government time to set out regulations specific to those products.

The minimum legal age to buy and consume marijuana has been set federally at 18 but some provinces have chosen to set it at 19.

What are the rules around the world?

Cannabis is banned in most countries but a number of places have decriminalized its use in recent years. The UK government said recently it would review the use of medicinal cannabis.

It is legal for medicinal purposes in 14 European countries, Israel, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the US, medicinal use is allowed in 29 states and the District of Columbia, Nine of the states have legalized both medical and personal cannabis use.

Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Jamaica, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Luxembourg are among countries that have relaxed legislation regarding personal use.

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