Friday, 3 July 2015

Global cannabis laws update

In a ruling little noticed by the rest of the world, Canada's Supreme Court has made a move towards further legalization of cannabis.

In June the Court ruled unanimously that medical marijuana can be legally consumed in products such as cookies, brownies and teas, a decision that "outraged" the federal government.

The high court said in a 7-0 decision that limiting medical consumption to dried pot infringes on liberty protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The decision was yet another rebuke of Prime Minister Harper's government's tough-on-crime agenda.

The original legislation enacted in 2001 (when Canada was one of the first countries to legalise medical cannabis) permitted the possession of dried buds if prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.

Elsewhere - in Colorado - the state government reports that it has made a $50 million (£32 million) profit in the first year by taxing legalised cannabis sales.

Meanwhile the city of Vancouver is getting itself into a mess over partial legalisation.  It is now permissible for licensed shops to sell cannabis but production remains illegal.  The Vancouver Sun newspaper complains that the remaining laws concerning growing cannabis are antiquated and long overdue for scrapping as they were the result of racism against the Chinese immigrant population which was much mistrusted by the early twentieth century white settlers.

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