OTTAWA, Oct. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - The old approach to cannabis did not work. It let criminals and organized crime profit, whilefailing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it has been easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.
After extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts, and the hard work of the
Adults who are 18 or 19 years of age and older, depending on the province or territory, can now legally possess and purchase up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent from provincially or territorially authorized retailers. Possession of small amounts of cannabis is no longer a criminal offence.
The Cannabis Act will keep profits from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs. Additionally, the Government of Canada has created a new criminal offence to make it illegal to sell cannabis to a minor and added significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.
Drug-impaired driving has been a criminal offence since 1925. In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the Government has toughened laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. The Government has a zero tolerance approach to impaired driving. Working in partnership with provinces, territories, municipalities and local communities, the Government has made appropriate investments to train and equip law enforcement so that Canada's roads and highways are safe for all Canadians. The Government is investing $274 million into law enforcement and border efforts to deter drug-impaired driving and enforce new laws, including $81 million to provinces and territories. As of October 1, 2018, more than 13,000 law enforcement officers have been trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and 833 officers have been certified as Drug Recognition Experts, and more officers are being trained on an ongoing basis.
"The Government of Canada is committed to keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and keeping profits from criminals and organized crime. While we still have a lot of work to do, we are confident that the more than two years of work that went into this process have resulted in legislation that will help us achieve our public health and safety objectives." The Honourable Bill BlairMinister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
"The implementation of this progressive public policy marks an important shift in our country's approach to cannabis. With a strictly regulated market for adults, we will help keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the pockets of criminals. Along with new laws and regulations on cannabis, our Government has also implemented stronger laws on drug- and alcohol-impaired driving. I am very proud that Canada now has one of the toughest impaired driving regimes in the world." The Honourable Jody Wilson-RaybouldMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"The coming into force of the Cannabis Act represents an important moment in Canadian drug policy. We have prioritized public health and safety to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. We have taken a public health approach, and our public education initiatives are helping to ensure that Canadians have access to the facts, to help them understand the health effects of cannabis use, and to encourage them to make informed decisions."The Honourable Ginette Petitpas TaylorMinister of Health
"From the very beginning, public safety has been at the forefront of the federal government's approach to cannabis. Drug-impaired driving has been illegal in Canada since 1925 and yet it has been on the rise over the past several years. The percentage of Canadian drivers killed in vehicle crashes that test positive for drugs now actually exceeds the number who test positive for alcohol. If you use cannabis, don't drive. Driving while impaired by cannabis or any other drug is dangerous and is a serious criminal offence. Law enforcement officers across the country are already trained to detect drug-impaired drivers and more will be trained in the coming months."The Honourable Ralph GoodaleMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Related ProductsCanada.ca/Cannabis Impaired DrivingMinisterial Order: Cost Recovery Ministerial Order: Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System Excise duty framework for cannabis National Mailout Postcard Backgrounder: Cannabis Public Education Backgrounder: Top 10 Things You need to Know About Cannabis in Canada Backgrounder: The Cannabis Act: The FactsBackgrounder: Federal, Provincial and Territorial Roles and Responsibilities
SOURCE Health Canada
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