United Nations drugs board slams Canada cannabis legalization

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Provinces and businesses have been struggling to prepare, and legalization was pushed back from original expectations of a July start to enable setting up distribution and sales networks.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended legalization - the fulfillment of a 2015 campaign promise - as meant to protect young people and to shut down drug dealers.

"The prohibition on marijuana has not worked in this country", Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

Canopy Growth Corp. CEO Bruce Linton said the licensed producer expects by next Friday to have shipped to all provinces and territories 100 per cent of the volumes it had committed to over the next 30 days, but within 10 days of legalization. "That needs to stop and that's exactly what we have done".

"Municipalities will have a one-time window to opt-out of permitting cannabis retail stores within their municipal boundaries and they can enact by-laws that further restrict smoking cannabis beyond the provincial minimum standards in places like parks. I ran out at 4:20 today, believe it or not", cannabis retailer Thomas Clarke told CBC News, with a wry nod to marijuana culture. Some websites ran out of popular products.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal, meanwhile, is calling on the government to fund research to answer questions about the effects of marijuana use over time and "have the courage to admit the legislation is flawed and amend the act" if cannabis use jumps.

"I wanted to buy more, but they're running out of a lot of stuff", he said.

In the meantime, Toronto Police still intend to crack down on illegal dispensaries, with the Ontario government deeming physical stores selling weed to be afoul of the law until April. Four others will license private retailers, while British Columbia stands out for its mix of both options.

Other cannabis shops in Victoria chose to close while they go through the application process.

Mr. Onesi bought some Riff prerolled joints made by Aphria, and some dried cannabis grown by Aurora, Tweed and Hexo, spending $120.

State laws vary in the United States but because U.S. federal law is clear that marijuana is illegal, that means that even going from, say, Vancouver to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), is risky.

"The new system will do a better job of protecting our kids and that's our first and most important priority", he said. On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace.

Ian Power and Nikki Rose were the first to make historic inaugural purchases. Legalizing the drug and regulating its sale will help keep it from children, the Canadian government says, along with cutting into black market profits.

Even in provinces with more shops, many shelves are expected to soon be empty because of a shortage of product.

Before Wednesday, simple possession (up to 30 grams) of marijuana was "punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail", but anyone convicted under that law could already apply to have their conviction expunged, through the Parole Board of Canada, after five years passed.

Canada has invested C$274 million to enforce the new laws and some provinces have allocated their own funding, but Palmer said police will not crack down on illegal stores right away.

"And if they find it, then they might refer it to law enforcement".

Possession of cannabis first became a crime in Canada in 1923.

If you're still craving a trip, Canada's newspaper of record, the Globe and Mail, is here for you.

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