OTTAWA — Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation on Thursday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada.
Many nations have either decriminalized marijuana, allowed it to be prescribed medically or effectively stopped enforcing laws against it. But when Mr. Trudeau’s bill passes as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product.
The government’s plan has been broadly shaped by a panel of experts, but many issues still need to be worked out before legal sales can begin.
Each of Canada’s provinces will need to decide exactly how the drug will be distributed and sold within its boundaries. The government will have to develop the marijuana equivalents of breathalyzers and a blood alcohol standard, so that drivers can be checked for impairment at the roadside and workers can be tested for safety on the job. Diplomats will have to address conflicts with international drug treaties. And many in the medical field are concerned about the long-term health effects of increased use of marijuana by Canadians under the age of 25.
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