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Canadian Feds Announce Cannabis Legalization Task Force

A nine-person task force will advise the Canadian government on marijuana legalization, according to a CBC report. The task force will be chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who also served as a health and justice minister under Paul Martin.

During a press conference today announcing the move, Justice Minister Judy Wilson-Raybould said the task force will assist the Liberal government in designing legalization framework
“that will include a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution.”

The government plans to introduce the legislation by spring of 2017.

The announcement comes barely a month after “Operation Claudia” was executed by law enforcement officials in Toronto. In the raid, police executed 43 search warrants at unlawful dispensaries resulting in 186 controlled substance charges. Another 79 charges were levied by Municipal Licensing and Standards officers for zoning and food permit violations.

“Production and possession of marijuana are illegal unless it has been authorized for medical purposes,” Wilson-Raybould said during the press conference, adding that police would continue enforcing current statutes until the new laws are passed.

New Democrat party leaders have been advocating for the Liberals to decriminalize simple possession of cannabis for personal use. New Democrat MP Guy Caron said he was “extremely disappointed” that issue is on hold until the new regime is determined and implemented.        

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