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article imageIncoming Quebec government to raise legal age for pot use to 21

By Karen Graham     Oct 13, 2018 in Politics
Yerevan - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Saturday morning the incoming Quebec government's plan to raise the legal age for smoking cannabis to 21 could leave an opening for organized crime.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in a joint press conference with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the office of the prime minister in Yerevan, Armenia on Saturday.
In response to questions about the new Quebec government's plans to raise the legal age for using marijuana to 21, Trudeau said increasing the legal age could undermine one of the federal law's primary aims - and that is eliminating the black market.
"If we eliminate the segment of the population between 18 to 19 and 21 years, which is a population often in university, often in areas where they'll try to consume, we're keeping an important segment of potential consumers for the black market," he told reporters in Yerevan, according to the Huffington Post.
Trudeau hopes he will be able to discuss this matter further with Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault, whose party was elected on October 1, 2018. Premier-elect Legault has promised to raise the age to 21 from 18 in Quebec.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is welcomed by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Yerevan  Armeni...
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is welcomed by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Yerevan, Armenia on Friday.
Prime Minister of Canada
The federal law on the use of recreational marijuana sets the legal age at 18 across Canada. However, the law leaves it open for provinces and territories to set their own rules. Right now, the legal age in the provinces and territories is either 18 or 19 years of age.
Trudeau has said he personally agrees with a legal age of 18. But he says he understands some people's wanting to keep marijuana out of the hands of anyone under 25 because of marijuana's effects on the developing brain, but he is also concerned doing this would just feed the black market.
"We believe that setting the legal age to (match) the age of alcohol consumption is a compromise that makes sense," he said. But even with their differences, Trudeau doesn't want to begin a quarrel with the newly elected Quebec premier.
"The government of the (Coalition Avenir Quebec) hasn't even established its cabinet yet, so (there are) a lot of decisions to make," he said. "We'll share our perspective ... and we'll have the necessary conversations at the right time and place."
Bottom line? On October 17, Quebec residents between the ages of 18 and 20 will be able to legally consume cannabis, at least for a few weeks or so.
More about Canada, Legalized marijuana, Quebec, New Premeir, legal age to 21
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