Canada’s marijuana task force has finally released its recommendations for how the government should legalize the cannabis plant when it comes time to address the issue in 2017.
The document, which is five months in the making, comes packed with some 80 suggestions over how the country should establish its taxed and regulated marijuana market.
“In taking a public health approach to the regulation of cannabis, the Task Force proposes measures that will maintain and improve the health of Canadians by minimizing the harms associated with cannabis use,” a summary of the report reads.
“This approach considers the risks associated with cannabis use, including the risks of developmental harms to youth; the risks associated with patterns of consumption, including frequent use and co-use of cannabis with alcohol and tobacco; the risks to vulnerable populations; and the risks related to interactions with the illicit market,” the summary continues.
In short, the primary takeaways from the proposed framework include restricting pot sales to adults 18 and over, establishing possession limits of up to 30 grams, and giving adult residents the freedom to cultivate up to four cannabis plants (no larger than 3 feet 3 inches tall) for personal use.
Marijuana advocates in the United States believe Canada’s bold move toward a system that allows marijuana to be taxed and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol could be exactly what it takes to get the rest of the world to start seriously considering policy changes to the prohibitionary standard.
“Canada’s move could be the shot heard around the world in terms of changing marijuana policy globally,” Erik Altieri, national director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Canadian government is expected to start working on a proposal aimed at legalizing marijuana nationwide in the spring of 2017.
Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that his decision to legalize marijuana has nothing to do with tax revenue (only to castrate the black market and keep pot out of the hands of children), some of the latest reports show the Canadian cannabis market could be worth nearly a $5 billion within the next five years.