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Canadian Cannabis Laws Could Change in 2017

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In Canada, it’s currently only legal to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Even then, these medical conditions must be listed in the “Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations” which are issued by a body called Health Canada. At the moment, the cultivation and harvest of the cannabis is only legal if you hold a licence which has been given from Health Canada. But, this could all be about to change.

When Justin Trudeau campaigned for becoming Canadian President for the Liberals, he put the decriminalization of cannabis at the forefront of his campaign. When he won the election, this raised excitement levels that cannabis laws could well be relaxed for recreational use. With the relaxation of possession laws, those caught distributing the substance to underage individuals or using it while in control of a motor vehicle would attract severe punishments.

Public Opinion

For the last 20 years, there has been a marked rise in the number of Canadians who have been in favour of a cannabis use not being a criminal offence. A poll in the summer of 2016 found that around 70{ee2a2ced2e83a70af3b12a5f5f4bc88f1c095ae1846c54ee750c7ec9c020c045} of Canadians wanted the complete legalization of cannabis, whether for recreational or medicinal use.

Back in 2006, there was a sizeable percentage of Canadian’s who were using cannabis. This was despite the risk of being charged with possession. It was around this time that campaigning started for legalization.

In a recent survey, it was found that 44{ee2a2ced2e83a70af3b12a5f5f4bc88f1c095ae1846c54ee750c7ec9c020c045} of Canadians have used cannabis at least once in their lives. The survey didn’t find out how often people currently used cannabis though. The report also found that 44{ee2a2ced2e83a70af3b12a5f5f4bc88f1c095ae1846c54ee750c7ec9c020c045} of students in Ontario had tried cannabis by the end of their final year of high school. But, with the clamour to legalize cannabis, around 66{ee2a2ced2e83a70af3b12a5f5f4bc88f1c095ae1846c54ee750c7ec9c020c045} of Canadians are concerned that the roads will be a lot more dangerous due to drivers driving under the influence of cannabis.

Another recent study completedin October 2016 found that around 5 million of the country’s residents use cannabis once a month – at the very least. It is thought this will rise when cannabis becomes legalized to around 20{ee2a2ced2e83a70af3b12a5f5f4bc88f1c095ae1846c54ee750c7ec9c020c045}. But, another think tank believes the number will be slightly lower for those who use it recreationally at around 3.8 million people by the year 2021. This is in contrast to PBO who in a report stated that they believe the figure will be nearer 5.2 million people.

As we edge closer to the spring, it will be interesting to see whether the law does in fact change and the total decriminalization of cannabis will occur. For more information, check out https://cannabis.net/blog/locations/how-recreational-cannabis-will-work-in-canada.