Marijuana is still illegal for now says Justice minister, as is driving on drugs

OTTAWA — The federal government is basking in the glow of its newly realized plan to legalize marijuana, but it is reminding Canadians that pot remains illegal until the Cannabis Act goes into effect.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould also says the government is still working on companion legislation dealing with impaired driving, but driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to end its opposition to certain aspects of the federal bill, most notably the plan to permit Canadians to cultivate marijuana plants at home.

Wilson-Raybould called the legislation — which still requires royal assent to become law — “transformative” and predicted it would protect young people and keep organized crime out of the pot market.

Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor, who was also on hand for this morning’s news conference, stopped short of announcing the date when the new law would go into effect.

It’s expected, however, that Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana by mid-September at the latest.

The Canadian Press

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