By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
The Canadian government announced on Wednesday that it will introduce legislation next year that would make the sale of marijuana legal. Canada would then become one of the largest Western countries to allow widespread use of marijuana.
The announcement came on April 20th, which many refer to as a marijuana holiday. In honor of the holiday, hundreds of Canadians gathered outside Canada's Parliament on to smoke marijuana on Wednesday.
The use of medical marijuana is already legal in Canada. Advocates of the legislation insist that this will alleviate incarceration in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advocated for this legislation as part of his campaign platform.
— Mashable (@mashable) April 21, 2016
Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott insisted that they would keep marijuana "out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals".
"We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures," Philpott said. "We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem."
The Bill has been named for former Toronto police chief, Bill Blair, who is the government's point person on legalization. "We control who it's sold to, when it's sold and how it's used," Blair said referencing how alcohol is regulated in Canada. "And organized crime doesn't have the opportunity to profit from it."
Not all Canadians are in favor of the legislation though. Gerard Deltell, an opposition conservative legislator opposes the change, arguing that it would harm the health of Canadians.
"That's one of the worst things you can do to Canadian youth - to open the door to marijuana," he told Reuters.
Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about legalizing marijuana:
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.