Washington, DC—On October 17, Canada will become the second country in the world—and the first G7 country—to legally regulate cannabis for non-medical use, joining Uruguay, which approved a national cannabis law in 2013. A signature campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new law was approved by Parliament and received royal assent in June 2018, and legal sales are set to launch tomorrow.
As Canada moves ahead with its regulatory approach to cannabis, John Walsh, the Director for Drug Policy and the Andes at research and advocacy group the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), issued the following statement:
“Canada’s move to regulate cannabis is based on a broad recognition that prohibitionist policies have roundly failed to protect the health, security, and human rights of the country’s citizens. Canada’s reputation as a good global citizen, its painstaking process in designing its new law, and the sheer size of its legal cannabis market makes this a rare before-and-after moment in the history of global drug policy. As Canada moves ahead with cannabis regulation, it will provide enormously beneficial lessons for other people and governments around the globe who are increasingly recognizing that cannabis prohibition is a dead-end and that new approaches are needed.”
See WOLA’s other resources on legal regulation of cannabis: