Statement from the Ministers of Justice, Health and Public Safety on the current marijuana laws


On June 30, 2016, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement about Canada's current marijuana laws:

"Today, we introduced Canadians to the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation. The Task Force will seek the best advice on how to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to marijuana in order to keep it out of the hands of youth and to keep profits out of the hands of criminals. We will also provide opportunities for Canadians to give us their views through an online portal and through written submissions.

We will introduce effective, evidence-based legislation for consideration by Parliament in the spring of 2017. The legislation will come into effect once regulations are developed and brought into force.

The possession, production, and trafficking of marijuana remain illegal. This includes storefronts selling marijuana, commonly known as "dispensaries" and "compassion clubs." These operations are illegally supplied, and provide products that are untested, unregulated and that may be unsafe. The Government of Canada supports law enforcement actions to address illegal storefront distribution and sale of marijuana in Canada.

The Government of Canada does not intend to decriminalize marijuana possession in the interim. Decriminalization would benefit criminal organizations, would not provide any regulatory control over the quality and safety of the marijuana, and would not help keep marijuana out of the hands of youth.

Canadians who require marijuana for medical purposes can continue to access it through one of 33 Licensed Producers under Canada's existing medical marijuana program.

For more information on the Task Force, please visit [Click here for more information on the Task Force].

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