Rory Savatgy

Canadian Senate Committees Recommend Delaying Rec. Cannabis Bill

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is non-committal about whether he is willing to delay implementing the bill to legalize cannabis for adult use in the nation as Senate committees recommend changes to the landmark legislation, the Canadian Press reports. The chamber’s Aboriginal Peoples Committee released a report on Tuesday urging Liberals to delay the measure in order to better negotiate tax sharing, prepare culturally appropriate education materials, draft addiction strategies, and ensure that First Nations can decide whether or not they want legal cannabis sales in their communities.

“We’ll continue to consult a broad range of Canadians. And as our parliamentary secretary Bill Blair says regularly, legalization is not an event, it’s a process. And that process will continue.” – Trudeau to the Canadian Press

The Senate National Security and Defense Committee is concerned about the treatment of Canadian travelers in the U.S. They fear that Canadians who admit to consuming cannabis could be turned away from the border or be more likely to face border interrogations.

“Canadians must be confident that they will still be able to cross into the United States without fear that activities legal in Canada will be held against them.” – Sen. Gwen Boniface, chair of the National Security and Defense Committee, in a statement, via the Press

The Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs said they have “serious concerns” about the potential impact of cannabis use on youth and the mentally ill. The Senate Social Affairs Committee is still conducting its own study.

The Senate is expected to vote on the measure by the end of next month.

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