Canada’s full House of Commons and Senate has officially passed the same marijuana legalization bill, sending it towards Royal Assent.
C-45 was passed by the Senate today in a 52 to 29 vote. Having already passed the House of Commons, it will now be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval). With Royal Assent essentially being a formality, it’s all but official that Canada has legalized marijuana, with the law expected to be in full swing by September.
Once the law does takes effect, those 18 and older will be allowed to legally possess and grow marijuana for personal use. They’ll be able to buy the plant through licensed marijuana stores, or by purchasing it online. Although the age limit is set at 18, some provinces are expected to set the limit at 19.
“We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition”, Senator Tony Dean said following the Senate’s vote. “It ends 90 years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health, and community health approaches in favour of ‘just say no.’ Approaches that simply failed our young people miserably”.
Passage of the law makes Canada the second country to legalize marijuana, following Uruguay which legalized in 2013.
[Update: C-45 has now officially passed through Royal Assent, and will take full effect on October 17.]