Canada is first major economy to legalize recreational marijuana

Global Business

In this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, marijuana plants are shown growing in a massive tomato greenhouse being renovated to grow pot in Delta, British Columbia, that is operated by Pure Sunfarms, a joint venture between tomato grower Village Farms International, and a licensed medical marijuana producer, Emerald Health Therapeutics. On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Wednesday, to the delight and relief of pot smokers.

Smoker Sebastien Bouzats said it comes as a breath of fresh air.

“I am happy,” said Bouzats. “It eases the soul because in terms of the law, at least we will finally be legal. We will no longer be stressed about that.”

CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

The North American nation is venturing where no industrialized nation has gone before by legalizing marijuana. It is called the cannabis act, and fulfills a campaign promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a few years ago.

Canadian Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair said, “the production and distribution of cannabis need to be brought under control. And that is why we have brought forward our new strong regulatory framework.”

As of now, It’s legal to purchase, and carry as much as 30 grams of marijuana as long as you are 18 years old.

It’s still illegal to carry pot out of the country and U.S. border patrol officers will have a broad latitude in allowing Canadians into the U.S.

Canadian authorities say they will restrict use among the nation’s youth saying, they are among the heaviest users.

But Canada expects marijuana to be a big business, generating roughly $5 billion a year.

“We are not merely legalizing it, you can’t regulate a prohibited substance so we are lifting the prohibition,” said Blair.

Canada has been gearing up for this, including a first-of-its-kind education program at Niagara College, where students learn the ins and outs of growing and selling marijuana.

“Everyone’s learning at the same time,” said Niagra College student Michal Marcinkiewicz. “And there’s a lot to learn, as well as grasp. There’s a lot of networking to be made with a lot of people as well.”

In addition to Canada, marijuana is also legal in Uruguay, The Netherlands and Portugal. A number of European and African nations are legalizing cannabis for medical use. Here in the U.S., legalization is gaining traction, many states have already given pot the okay for either medicinal or recreational use.

Sanho Tree discusses Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Sanho Tree about Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana.

Mason Tvert discusses Canada’s legalization of marijuana

CGTN’s Mike Walter interviews Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project about Canada legalizing recreational use of marijuana.