Canada plans to legalise marijuana by 2018

  • 28/03/2017
420 celebrations in downtown Toronto (Getty)
420 celebrations in downtown Toronto in 2016 (Getty)

Canadians will be legally allowed to grow their own marijuana by next year, with the government planning to introduce legislation in April.

The Liberal Justin Trudeau-led government would see the federal government in charge of securing and supplying supply, provinces will control prices and sales - and residents will be allowed to have four plants per household, the CBC reports.

It follows a promise Mr Trudeau made on the campaign trail when he ran for Prime Minister.

If passed, marijuana would become legal by July 1, 2018.

Weed laws around the world

A senior government official confirmed to CBC that former Toronto police chief Bill Blair briefed the Liberal caucus on the plans during meetings at the weekend.

Canada's capital and seat of power, Ottawa, would licence producers, but the provinces will decide on how the marijuana is distributed and sold.

Provincial governments will have the right to set the price.

A minimum age of 18 will also be set, but provinces could make the age higher if they wanted to.

Residents will be able to grow their own marijuana as well.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says legalisation would keep children safe and keep profits out of criminals' hands, CBC reports.

But she stopped short of the government endorsing the use of marijuana as "advisable or recommended".

At a news conference, Ms Philpott said the government was looking at similar policies which control tobacco and alcohol which limit sales to "informed, consenting adults".

"Our responsibility as government is to make sure that we have appropriate regulatory mechanisms in place, that we have public health measures in place," she said.

In December, a national task force, chaired by a former justice minister, reported back with more than 80 recommendations for marijuana to be legalised and regulated.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 1999.