"In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes". "We're going to change that", Mr Trudeau said.
The legislation "seeks to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis, and it will make Canada safer", said Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, on Thursday.
The government's plan, including legalizing for those 18+, falls largely in line with what the nation's Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation recommended in their report released in December.
Under the federal government's proposal, the provinces must determine how the drug is bought and sold within their borders, how much the drug will cost the public and how old a customer must be to buy recreational marijuana.
Since the intention of legalization is to stop criminalizing users, the government chose an age that would not force adults under 25 to turn to the illicit market.
Canadian officials were in close touch with their American counterparts as they drafted the proposed law, Ralph Goodale, Canada's public safety minister, said on Thursday. The government will have to debate the bill and later the provinces will have to draft their own rules and regulations for the sale of marijuana in their province.
Unless B.C. demands more powers, Larsen said, he believes that the province will not have any influence over who gets licensed and will not be able to protect B.C's local cannabis industry.
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Goodale said that Canadian officials have been in close touch with the USA government on the proposed law, and emphasized that exporting and importing marijuana will continue to be illegal.
The federal legislation would allow Canadians to possess up to 30 grams of dried or fresh cannabis and sets the minimum age at 18.
Canadians would also be permitted to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, as well as make legal cannabis-containing products at home. But exporting and importing marijuana will remain illegal without a valid permit for special purposes, such as medical marijuana, which is legal in Canada, and industrial hemp. However, Canada's provinces and territories, which under the constitution have regulatory powers, can set a higher legal age. Those who are under the influence of marijuana, he said, are still drastically less impaired than they would be under the effect of legal quantities of alcohol.
Goodale argued that the Canadian approach would ultimately prove to be the better one. "It's not an absolute guarantee that kids won't get access to it, but it will be far more hard for kids to get access to it when this new regime is in place than it is today".
Shares of marijuana producers were trading lower following the announcement, though the stocks have seen a run-up in anticipation of legalization. But illegal sales or giving it to minors would carry penalties up to 14 years in jail.
Police would be able to demand a saliva sample if they have "reasonable suspicion" a driver has drugs in their body; a positive test result would then help officers identify "reasonable grounds" to demand a blood sample or further drug evaluation.