The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it will introduce legislation next year to decriminalize and legalize the sale of marijuana, making Canada the first G7 country to permit widespread use of the substance.
The announcement was made by Canada’s health minister, Jane Philpott, at a U.N. drug conference in New York. It follows through on a promise made during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s successful election campaign last fall.
Philpott said details of the legislation are being worked out, but she vowed that the government “will keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals.”
With the Liberals holding a majority in the House of Commons, the marijuana legislation is likely to pass. The path toward the legalization of marijuana is the latest in a string of policy announcements from the 44-year-old Trudeau that have moved Canada to the left after a decade of Conservative Party rule, including last week’s unveiling of legislation to permit assisted suicide. [Read more at The Washington Post]