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article imageTrudeau — Recreational cannabis will be legal by this summer

By Karen Graham     May 4, 2018 in Politics
Ottawa - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday recreational cannabis use will be legal by summer, despite calls from some senators to put off legalization for at least a year to allow for further consultation with Indigenous communities.
The prime minister may have appeared on Wednesday to have left the door open to a possible delay on legalizing recreational cannabis use in Canada for up to a year, but he set the record straight on Thursday.
Speaking with the press alongside the Portuguese prime minister on Thursday, Trudeau pointed out that it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the Liberal government is determined to enact its marijuana policy - citing it was the first mandate of a pre-election pledge the party made, reports CBC Canada.
“We have been working with our partners across the country to make this happen and we are going to be moving forward with summer on the legalization of cannabis,” he said, according to 420 Intel.
Speaking to reporters alongside the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa  Trudeau said cannabis ...
Speaking to reporters alongside the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, Trudeau said cannabis use will be legal by summer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"Obviously, as I've said many times, this is not an event, this is a process, and we will continue to work with our partners in the municipalities, in provinces and Indigenous leadership in communities to make sure we're doing this right and moving forward in a responsible way."
Bill C-45 was approved in principle by the Senate earlier this year, but the Senate’s Aboriginal peoples committee, headed by Liberal Saskatchewan Senator Lillian Dyck said in a report on Wednesday the government didn't consult enough with First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities before going ahead with the legalization of cannabis at the national level.
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Back in March this year, Manny Jules, a chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission, urged senators to amend the bill to give Indigenous communities the tools to develop cannabis-related laws and regulations in their communities, fund campaigns to educate young people about the dangers of the drug and bolster First Nations police forces.
A photograph of Cannabis sativa.
A photograph of Cannabis sativa.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The 148-page cannabis bill is mostly silent about the role Indigenous communities will be playing under the legal framework of the cannabis law. CBC Canada points out the word "Aboriginal" is only used once in the "Definitions" section of the bill.
A special meeting of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) held this week passed a resolution demanding the federal government give First Nations governments the authority to levy their own excise taxes on marijuana cultivated and sold on reserves. To do so would require amending the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FNFMA).
The Toronto Star points out that while Conservatives are quick to find a problem under every marijuana leaf, the First Nations do have a valid argument against the Liberal government's rush to get recreational use of marijuana legalized. The Star states: "In essence, that committee said legalized cannabis promises more pain with no financial gain for Indigenous communities."
More about Canada, recreational cannabis use, opposition conservatives, Legalization, Justin trudeau
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