In Brief

Canada votes to legalise recreational cannabis

Legalisation fulfils prime minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign promise

Canada’s upper house of parliament has voted in favour of a revised bill that will see that country become the first Group of Seven nations to legalise recreational marijuana use.

The Senate voted 52-29 in favour of the bill, “paving the way for a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks”, Reuters says.

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalise & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said, following the vote.

Independent senator Tony Dean said the passing of the bill “ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalisation, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn’t worked”.

The Toronto Star says the government is taking a “very cautious, prudent approach” in an effort to ensure that the drug stays out of the hands of young people, and to undermine the “thriving black market in cannabis controlled by organised crime”.

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