The Latest: Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada

Canada legalizes

The Latest: Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada

The latest on the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada:

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government’s relaxed pardon laws for simple pot possession will be of particular benefit to young people from racialized or other minority groups.

Trudeau says people in those demographics were disproportionately affected by marijuana possession convictions, and that the new rules should remove a barrier for them.

He also celebrates Canada’s new drug policy era on Twitter with a post that reads “Profits out of the hands of criminals. Protection for our kids. Today #cannabis is legalized and regulated across Canada.”

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Stocks for major cannabis companies took a hit on the first day of legalized marijuana.

Canopy Growth Corp. stocks dropped seven per cent when the TSX opened for the day, while Aurora Cannabis tumbled 10 per cent.

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The federal government says it will be making it easier for people previously convicted of simple pot possession to obtain a pardon.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the easing of pardon procedures at a morning news conference alongside three of his fellow cabinet members.

Goodale said the new rules will allow people with pot possession convictions on record to apply for a pardon, for free, as soon as they’ve completed their sentence.

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A longtime cannabis user and advocate is among Canada’s first celebrity legal pot customers.

Cape Breton-born fiddler Ashley MacIsaac was first in line on Wednesday at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. branch, in Sydney River, N.S. the only legal place to buy recreational marijuana on Cape Breton Island.

MacIsaac said he wrestled with feeling like a criminal for 25 years, but no longer feels that way now that “my dealer is the Prime Minister.”

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Canada finds itself in an unfamiliar place this morning — on the home pages of major media outlets from around the world.

The BBC, Al-Jazeera, France’s Le Monde  and the Times of India are among those taking notice as recreational cannabis becomes legal nationwide.

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Residents of Canada’s most populous province are now able to buy weed from the provincial government.

The Ontario Cannabis Store’s website went live around midnight Wednesday as recreational cannabis became legal in the eastern time zone.

The website offers a selection of cannabis products — including dried flowers and oils — as well as accessories such as grinders, rolling papers and vaporizers.

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Canada has officially become the second country in the world to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time.

Some pot shops in the country’s easternmost province opened their doors at 12:01 a.m. to commemorate the historic event.

Canada joins the tiny South American country of Uruguay in an exclusive club of nations that allow the sale of recreational pot.

The Canadian Press

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