Canada aims to legalise recreational use of marijuana

Country looks set to join growing list of nations and US states that allow legal, recreational use of cannabis.


    Canada's government is aiming to pass legislation that will legalise the recreational use of marijuana.

    The bill will fulfil an election promise by Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, who has admitted smoking pot himself in the past.

    Medical marijuana is legal in Canada, but a doctor's prescription is required.

    Existing medical marijuana growers with government licenses have expanded operations in preparation for what some in the Canadian news media are calling a "green rush".

    Supporters argue that benefits include taxing legal marijuana, which could potentially bring in a lot of public revenue.

    READ MORE: Can cannabis combat cancer?

    The move also raises questions about who would reap the benefits.

    Some believe that large companies that will control growth and distribution of legal marijuana will have too much influence over government regulation.

    "Whether you look at alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals, the government seems to be a lot friendlier to industry interests than public-health concerns," Michael Devillaer, drug policy expert at McMaster University, told Al Jazeera.

    Despite the proposed plan to legalise marijuana, police across Canada continue to arrest and charge people for possession and selling the drug.

    Activists looking to decriminalise the drug have criticised the government plans.

    "The government is looking to allow people in suits to go on the stock market and sell marijuana,"Jodie Emery, a marijuana activist, said.

    "But anyone who grew it before is going to remain a criminal and not be allowed to participate in the industry."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.