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Canadian House of Commons Rejects Legalization Changes, Pushes for Progressive Cannabis Regulations

Canadian MPs rejected 13 legal weed amendments handed down by the Senate, sending the legalization bill back to the upper house for at least one more debate before prohibition finally folds.

by Zach Harris

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On Monday, Canada's House of Commons passed recreational marijuana legislation back to the Senate, rejecting 13 of the upper house's most strict amendments while approving wider legalization standards.

According to CTV, MPs voted 205-82 to advance Bill C-45, which intends to legalize adult-use cannabis nationally, but they want to remove local municipal restrictions on home grows, bans on marijuana-branded clothing, and a host of other rigid rules sought by the Senate.

By allowing local governments to outlaw home cultivation and restrict the sale of marijuana-branded clothing, senators said they were responding to six months of research that detailed a need for rigorous control of the market.

Last week, the Senate advanced an amended version of C-45, packed with 46 largely-conservative regulatory alterations, leading Justin Trudeau's liberal party to quickly defend their original policy choices.

"We're making the changes to keep Canadians safe, and one of the strong recommendations by experts was that we ensure personal cultivation of four plants at home," Trudeau said directly following the Senate's vote last week. "We have heard what the senators had to say on this matter, but we will go ahead with the recommendations from experts."

The House of Commons upheld the equal access policy goal n Monday's vote, supporting 26 of the Senate's more benign amendments while remaining steadfast on home grow guarantees, policies that respect the privacy of marijuana business owners, and branded promotional material.

Now that C-45 is once again in the hands of the Senate, upper house legislators will have the option to accept the MPs' concessions and live with more lenient regulations, or persist in hopes of eventually wearing down House voters.

During a Monday night debate about the future fate of Bill C-45, Senator Peter Harder argued that the upper house should accept the House of Commons' decision to once and for all reconcile regulations and begin focusing on opening the impending marijuana market.

"If we concur with the House of Commons, I think we will find most Canadians pleased with the manner in which we've discharged our constitutional role," Harder told his Senate colleagues. "With cannabis legislation, Canadians are ready for us to move forward. There may come a day, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, when we remember prohibition as absurd."

After both parties of Canadian legislature can agree on a complete version of C-45, the bill will quickly be established as law. Government officials currently predict that legal weed will be on sale sometime this September.

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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