Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged that cannabis will be federally legal in the nation by this summer despite the recommendations of several Senate committees to delay the reforms’ implementation, CBC News reports.
“We have been working with our partners across the country to make this happen and we are going to be moving forward this summer on the legalization of cannabis. 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 ensure that we’re getting this right and moving forward in a responsible way that supports all the partners as we move forward on this.” – Trudeau, during a May 3 press conference, via CBC
The prime minister’s comments come the day after the Senate Aboriginal Peoples Committee urged Liberal leaders to delay the bill in order to better negotiate tax sharing, prepare culturally appropriate education materials, draft addiction strategies, and ensure that First Nations can decide whether or not they want legal cannabis sales in their communities.
“Make no mistake, this is a public health and public safety issue that we committed to in the election campaign that we will be moving forward with this summer.” – Trudeau, during the press conference, via CBC
The bill was also recently criticized by the Canadian Real Estate Association, who claimed that allowing individuals to grow their own cannabis would cause home prices to fall or cause properties to become uninsurable because financial institutions might be reluctant to protect properties once used for cultivation because of the risk of structural damage. At least two provinces, Quebec and Manitoba, have announced they will not allow home cultivation. Trudeau defended the home-grow provision of the bill as “based on logic and evidence” and said he expects provinces to follow the law as written, which could prevent provinces form enacting home-grow bans.
The Senate has agreed to have a third reading vote on the measure on or before June 7. If the Senate amends the measure those changes would need to be approved by the House of Commons.