Canada introduces legislation to legalize marijuana

Three new offences will be created, with penalties depending on the drug type and level of drug in the blood.

The new bill would also enact stiffer penalties where a driver is impaired by both marijuana and alcohol.

Marijuana for medical purposes is already legal but annual sales of recreational marijuana could be as high as £5.2bn. To sell, possess, and production of marijuana, they all remain illegal under US federal laws.

Colorado lawmakers have backed off plans to regulate marijuana clubs, saying the state could invite a federal crackdown by approving Amsterdam-style pot clubs.

In announcing the proposed legislation, the government said it would "protect public health through strict product requirements for safety and quality", but did not elaborate on whether new, stricter testing measures would be introduced to prevent the use of risky chemicals. A federal task force has recommended that the two items not be sold in the same stores.

That is still the case.

Trudeau has not provided direction on where users will be able to buy marijuana but it is safe to assume it will be similar to alcohol.

Ottawa's legislation provided some clarity on what the recreational market will look like, such as impaired driving rules, but major questions remain, including how cannabis will be distributed, which will be determined by the provinces.

It noted that U.S. states where recreational marijuana use is legal had aligned the minimum age with alcohol consumption at 21.

Aurora's share price fell 21 cents, or almost seven per cent, to close Thursday at $2.83 amid an industry-wide sell off of Canadian cannabis stocks. "If there appears to be a pattern of examination at the border that just does not accord with appropriate, professional, reliable, consistent conduct, then obviously that's the sort of thing that we should raise at a governmental level to make sure people are treated appropriately".

"Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities", Blair said Thursday. A 2012 United Nations study found teenagers are more likely to use marijuana in Canada than in most other countries, including the Netherlands and Spain, where the drug is legal. And those who are convicted end up with criminal records that can affect jobs, foreign travel, even citizenship - punishments that in most cases far outweigh the crime, and which drastically increase the likelihood of future, more serious criminality.

Personal possession, however, would be limited to 30 grammes. And there is still the issue that many medical experts are concerned about. Also, Anne McLellan [the head of the federal task force whose recommendations formed the basis for the proposed legislation] is a senior adviser at a law firm that services licensed producers. It didn't set a price or announce what, if any, federal tax would be levied.

What happens if a US border guard asks if you have ever smoked marijuana?

Trudeau has emphasised current laws should be respected.

The comments came as the federal government tabled legislation on Thursday to legalize cannabis for recreational use in 2018.

Such use is already allowed in the U.S. states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska as well as California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada. These represent more than 20 per cent of the total US population, approximately 75 million people.

On the impact on the justice system: "We had hoped from the NDP side that the government was going to act first to remove simple possession from the criminal code". The bill aims to avoid criminalizing those under 18, who would not face prosecution for possessing or sharing small amounts of pot.