Canada's Senate Passes Cannabis Bill

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is interviewed by MIT's Danielle Wood at Solve At MIT Plenary- True Stories Of Starting Up at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

If the Senate passes the bill with those amendments, it will go back to the House of Commons, where the government will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning it to the Senate for another vote.

Canada's Senate on Thursday voted to legalize recreational marijuana, clearing a major hurdle that puts the country on track to become the first Group of Seven nation to permit national use of the drug. In its current form, the proposed law would allow Canadians to grow up to four plants at home for personal use.

Once granted Royal Assent by the Governer General, the bill will officially become law, making Canada the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis.

Medical use of marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001.

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The many amendments added by the senate - and which will now be considered by MPs - reflect some of this opposition, such as tighter restrictions on advertising by cannabis companies and allowing provinces to prohibit home cultivation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who once said he smoked a joint "five or six times", has supported the bill's passage after pledging to legalize recreational marijuana during the 2015 parliamentary elections.

Yet another is aimed at recognizing that marijuana is often shared socially.

Health Minister Petitpas Taylor has said that, once the bill is passed, provinces and territories will need two to three months to prepare before retail sales of legal cannabis are actually available.

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