Canada’s House of Commons has approved Bill C-45 by a landslide, putting recreational marijuana on the fast track to legalization for our northern neighbors.
The final vote was 200 for legalization with only 82 in opposition. There was also bipartisan support from the New Democrats (NDP), Conservative MP Scott Reid, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
In a last-ditch effort to delay the vote, the Conservative Party suggested the bill be sent back to the Health Committee for additional revisions. The attempted filibuster fell short, however, and the bill is on its way to the Senate despite the conservative intrusion.
Three major changes have been made to the bill, which will require additional scrutiny from the senators. First, there will no longer be any height restrictions for plants grown at home. Previously, plants could be no taller than 100cm.
“There was absolutely no compelling reason to justify a 100cm limit,” said NDP Health Critic Don Davies. “You don’t want to criminalize gardening. Don’t make our police officers have to carry yardsticks.”
The second amendment added was to include mandatory regulations for the sale and consumption of edibles, which is to be finalized no later than one year after the new bill is enacted. The original legislation offered no guidelines whatsoever for edibles.
The third and final change was a promise to review the bill after three years to see if any additional changes should be made.
It’s expected that the Senate might take its time moving the bill forward, but most people don’t seem too concerned.
“We’re one step closer to legalizing and regulating marijuana,” commented Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter. “Bill C-45 means less money for organized crime and harder access for our kids. Tonight, it passed third reading in the House and it’s now headed to the Senate.”